The automotive industry or Isis? Which is more likely to kill you?


I haven’t watched any of those beheading clips, and refuse to while ever photos of mutilated car crash victims aren’t likewise spread on the web. The greatest terrorist threat to the world isn’t Isis, but VolkswagenToyotaDaimlerGeneral MotorsFordNissan, etc..

I’ve survived two serious car accidents, and have a childhood memory of dead bodies I saw in an overturned car. Two minutes ago I did a google image search for car crashes and suggest you do likewise. I’m not dismissing the possibility that I could be pulled from the street and forced to read a statement before some 20 year old hacks off my head in front of his iPhone. There’s half a chance something like that could happen in australia, and a one in twenty-three million chance that I would be the unlucky one. So yes, there is a genuine one in forty-six million chance I will be beheaded by an Jihadist extremist. However, from what I can gather, there is a one in forty (not forty million) chance that the metal which slices me will belong to a car. More than two percent of all deaths—not premature deaths, but all deaths—are caused by car crashes.

However much we are spending to rid the world of the Jihadist terrorist threat, we ought to spend a million times more dealing with the threat posed to us by the car industry. I don’t mean by bombing their factories. They will be rebuilt. The war on cars needs to be fought through traffic engineering, urban design, and bike and rail infrastructure. As our leaders would say, “we need to be in this fight for the long haul,” and bla bla, etc.. The immediate threat will only re-emerge in some other guise if we don’t make the structural changes, and do the rebuilding, necessary to eradicate the root source of the threat. The root causes are urban sprawl, building stock and connecting roadways welded to the dynamics and proportions of cars, and a concomitant lack of development in inter-city rail infrastructure, as well as bike infrastructure within metropolitan areas.

Thanks for reading this far. I hope it inspires someone to make and spread clever memes reminding people that the car industry, and its control of the production of space, are a million times deadlier than Jihadist extremists. The car industry and its production of space is also the root cause of our hunger for oil, making us vote for the leaders who send troops to Iraq. Here’s what I think. I think we should pull all troops from those nations with oil, accept the new price of petrol, then rebuild a world without dangerous car transportation or disgruntlement among those in the gulf. I know I’m being simplistic, but I’m generally right.


  1. Crank says:

    Typo : treat -> threat

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