The statistics for car accidents in the United States are quite staggering. The Association for Safe International Road Travel or ASIRT has posted in their website some very unsettling numbers. According to the non-profit, non-governmental organization whose advocacy is to promote road safety around the world, the number of people that perish in road crashes each year in the U.S. alone is over 37,000.
Shockingly, as much as 2.35 million people are injured or become disabled. A heartbreaking figure of 1,600 children under the age of 15 is killed each year, with the figure of 8,000 lives lost for the 16-20 year-old bracket. The economics of road crashes is also confounding with an estimated cost of $230.6 billion per year. Global statistics are even more mind boggling. Almost 1.3 million are killed annually.
If you do the math, that’s around 3,287 deaths a day. An unimaginable 20-50 million people are injured or left disabled. Every year, 400,000 people below the age of 25 die in a car crash. It is the leading cause of death in the 15-29 age bracket, and the second leading cause of death in children aged 5-14 years. Road crashes rank as the 9th leading cause of death globally. Indeed these are very sobering facts and figures, to think that we are unavoidably on the road every day.
Nicolai Howalt’s photo series named Car Crash Studies is a collection of images from various car interiors of vehicles that figured in serious accidents, some of them maybe even fatal. The Danish photographer says his work is meant to “beg the viewer to confront the human fear of trauma and death,” and hopefully provokes an “attempt to portray an abstract, mental state, namely the duality we feel in relation to accidents or catastrophes when experienced from a distance – as spectators.”
While the series is both a graphic documentation of car accident interiors, whereas also being an abstraction of mangled metal, plastic and glass, what surely is conveyed is the latent danger and power that can be unleashed inside any vehicle while mobile. Road safety is without a doubt a major concern as the ASIRT sees road accidents becoming the 5th deadliest by the year 2030, unless we take affirmative action now.
Howalt’s Car Crash Studies can be viewed here, and hopefully it moves each one that sees it to be safer and more cautious while on the road.