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Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:07 AM

Strange: Why Do Red States Have More Traffic Fatalities?

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/strange-why-do-red-states-have-more-traffic-fatalities


Strange: Why Do Red States Have More Traffic Fatalities?
November 20, 2012 |

When it comes to politics, conservative and liberal states are certainly on completely different tracks. But surprisingly, research shows they also part ways on a gloomy statistic: fatal traffic accidents.

Stuart Silverstein, a reporter for FairWarning, a nonprofit investigative news organization focused on public health and safety issues , reported Tuesday that traffic fatalities are more likely to occur in red states than blue states. Looking at 2010 federal statistics, Silverstein found that states with the highest rates of traffic deaths were overwhelmingly red states — calculated by those which voted Romney in the 2012 election. It’s estimated that U.S. traffic accidents killed more than 32,000 people in 2010.

Wyoming had the highest rate of deaths per 100,000 people at 27.46, while the District of Columbia had the lowest rate of deaths at 3.97. Although there are some outliers, Silverstein’s graph shows a clear partisan divide when it comes to traffic fatalities — which have safety experts perplexed.

Below is the chart:

58 replies, 3052 views

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Arrow 58 replies Author Time Post
Reply Strange: Why Do Red States Have More Traffic Fatalities? (Original post)
unhappycamper Nov 2012 OP
Are_grits_groceries Nov 2012 #1
Fawke Em Nov 2012 #2
trotsky Nov 2012 #17
Marr Nov 2012 #27
Hassin Bin Sober Nov 2012 #38
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #39
randr Nov 2012 #3
Fawke Em Nov 2012 #6
cordelia Nov 2012 #29
randr Nov 2012 #43
PA Democrat Nov 2012 #44
Cairycat Nov 2012 #4
BlueStreak Nov 2012 #28
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #40
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #58
2pooped2pop Nov 2012 #5
Aerows Nov 2012 #7
MiniMe Nov 2012 #8
Robb Nov 2012 #9
KurtNYC Nov 2012 #22
GoneOffShore Nov 2012 #26
Nevilledog Nov 2012 #10
leveymg Nov 2012 #11
Aerows Nov 2012 #12
ananda Nov 2012 #13
Aerows Nov 2012 #14
HopeHoops Nov 2012 #15
Macoy51 Nov 2012 #16
HopeHoops Nov 2012 #18
The Magistrate Nov 2012 #46
HopeHoops Nov 2012 #56
Go Vols Nov 2012 #19
Aerows Nov 2012 #20
Go Vols Nov 2012 #21
aandegoons Nov 2012 #23
Doremus Nov 2012 #24
Glitterati Nov 2012 #25
GoneOffShore Nov 2012 #30
oswaldactedalone Nov 2012 #31
TwilightGardener Nov 2012 #32
Thegonagle Nov 2012 #47
1-Old-Man Nov 2012 #33
IDemo Nov 2012 #34
w8liftinglady Nov 2012 #35
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #36
demhottie Nov 2012 #51
FarCenter Nov 2012 #37
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #41
billh58 Nov 2012 #42
TransitJohn Nov 2012 #45
Thegonagle Nov 2012 #48
redqueen Nov 2012 #49
BlueMan Votes Nov 2012 #50
Cleita Nov 2012 #52
Doctor_J Nov 2012 #53
JI7 Nov 2012 #54
Renew Deal Nov 2012 #55
liberalmuse Nov 2012 #57

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:13 AM

1. More traveling on poor farm to market roads?

Many of the roads where I grew up are in bad shape. They fill huge holes and that's about it. The side roads are even worse. They are barely strips of pavement. No thought was put into design.

I personally know 4 people who have died on those roads. Only one involved drinking.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:16 AM

2. Red states have to use cars more.

We have very little public transportation to speak of. Florida and Tennessee are extra special because of tourism (the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - mostly accessed in Tennessee - is the most visited national park in the country and it's only accessible by car and, of course, we know about Florida's tourism).

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Response to Fawke Em (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:46 AM

17. California has heavy car usage and a very low fatality rate.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #17)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:45 AM

27. That's because we're all in traffic, moving 10 mph.

lol

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Response to Marr (Reply #27)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:34 PM

38. You joke but I think that is part of the issue.

When I visit my SO's family in rural Illinois I always note how much driving is needed between point A to point B.

Not only the distance but the SPEED on those rural two lane highways is 55 (plus).

Lots of opportunities for head-on collision and serious single car accidents.

The SO pointed out to me all the places his family have run off the road over the years. His sister had a serious roll-over coming home from her late night nursing job. His mom put the car in the ditch on one of the 55mph roads a few years ago.

It seems we always hear of a car load of high school kids killed on rural roads. My SO lost HS friends that way. I honestly didn't remember any kids in my HS class killed in car accidents (urban/suburban HS). Around where I grew up, most speed limits are 25,30,35 and a few 45s.

To this day, I still refuse to take the "short cut" on the two lane un-divided highway to mom's house. Give me four divided lanes any day.

I would be curious to see the data broken down by county and rural versus urban/suburban.

I just spent a week on the road between Chicago and Phoenix. I was looking forward to the 75 mph highways outside Illinois. What I didn't anticipate was the fact the TRUCKS can also travel 75 (in Illinois most 65 mph routes restrict trucks to 55). I think that's too fast for trucks and it sucks competing for the passing lane with some truck swerving around in high winds.

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Response to Marr (Reply #27)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:41 PM

39. Partly true, in my experience.

Plus, highly patroled.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:38 AM

3. So are we subsidizing their auto insurance claims in addition to all the federal money they suck?

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Response to randr (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:44 AM

6. No. You are supporting fellow Americans.

Geez... some people on this board truly don't understand that there are liberals in red states.

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Response to Fawke Em (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:54 AM

29. Sad how they hate us, isn't it?

They don't even know us, but because we happen to live in a particular State they hate us.

How tragic to be filled with such bile.

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Response to Fawke Em (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:07 PM

43. I do recognize your efforts Fawke Em

I too live in a very conservative area, yet I still take every opportunity to shout out the the hypocrisy of the wingers around me who want to end government hand outs.
I feel absolutely the same in regard to my health insurance premiums covering tobacco smokers no matter their political persuasion.

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Response to randr (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:10 PM

44. Insurance rates already are higher or lower depending upon where you live.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:42 AM

4. Wonder how seat belt usage factors in? n/t

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Response to Cairycat (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:46 AM

28. Seat belts are just another form of big brother

Real patriots don't wear seat belts.

Another factor may be that the cars have more maintenance issues because the red states are generally lower income than blue states. So people probably drive older cars with balder tires and brakes that should have been fixed 10,000 miles ago, etc.

I realize these generalizations don't apply to everybody living in those states, but it doesn't take much of a delta to skew those statistics.

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Response to Cairycat (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:53 PM

40. I can tell you this, about my corner of Alabama.

There are at least 3 "single car leaving roadway and/or roll over" accidents per week in my rural county.
and a fatality about every 6 weeks, no seat belts, driver thrown from vehicle.
I am not exaggerating.
We have miles and miles of unpatroled county roads in the whole state, and people SPEED.
From Friday night till early Monday morning, there are reports of cars leaving the roadway, almost always a single driver, almost always no seat belt.
The few times I drive out of town, on the country roads, I am tailgated constantly. I am NOT a slow pokey driver, either.
I live on a bluff, above a 2 lane road which leads into town, and can hear clearly the cars and motorcycles barreling up and down that road. Occasionally I hear the crash and rollover, and call the police to report it.
In town, speed limit 45 mph on the 4 lane, and people somehow manage to run into one another.
But the deaths are almost always when a speeding car leaves the road and finds the nearest immovable object to run into, ejecting the driver.

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Response to Cairycat (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:58 PM

58. UPdate to my earlier reply. add 2 more dead to Ala. score.

Today's paper reports 2 men killed when the pickup they were in collided with a car, 6 miles from my house.
Both men ejected, no seat belts. Pic in paper shows pickup on side of road, upside down.
One of deceased man was a county firefighter and EMA volunteer. Yet did not wear seat belt..sheesh.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:44 AM

5. stinking driving laws aren't for Republicans

"I don't got to use my turn signal, I'm a republican." Insert any law for turn signal. Like I don't have to come to a complete stop. I don't have to obey speed limits.

Drinking and driving laws are for the democrats only.

see? It's their roads. Laws are not for them. Stinking socialist roads anyway.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:49 AM

7. Most of those

take place out in the sticks. I'm sure hitting deer and other animals is part of the problem, too. A wreck in the middle of nowhere is going to have a higher chance of being fatal because of the time necessary to get injured people medical attention. Wyoming is the second least densely populated state. It would make sense that people who have accidents there probably don't get medical attention as quickly as a very densely populated area.

That would also explain why Florida, with some of it's hideously dangerous highways has fewer fatalities than say, New Mexico. When there's a wreck in Florida, everyone in the world knows about it because there are so many people affected by it.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:50 AM

8. "Red states" are generally less populated than Blue states

I wonder how much of that has to do with distance to the hospital or the distance from the closest help

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:52 AM

9. Without knowing miles driven, it's an utterly useless statistic.

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Response to Robb (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:04 AM

22. +1 good point

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Response to Robb (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:42 AM

26. You win the thread - I was thinking the same

Because without factoring that in, plus distance to hospitals, emergency response time, availability of public transport and population density, this is just cherry picking numbers.

Kind of Rovian.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:58 AM

10. People in Red states rely on "faith based lane changes"? n/t

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:01 AM

11. More rural, poorer condition roads and vehicles, more impaired drivers. Hard to maintain control

Last edited Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:22 PM - Edit history (5)

of a '75 Chevy Half Ton Pickup at 90 mph on a dirt road while shooting at deer out the driver's window. That leaves the driver only one hand free to turn the AM radio nob to tune-in Rush, all the while trying to keep that 32 oz Bud Big Mouth from spilling on his own lap and the passenger's face.

I know, not funny. But, shit like this happens every day.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:05 AM

12. I'll agree with poorer condition roads and vehicles

But to imply that they are all caused by impaired drivers is ridiculous. If you have a wreck in the middle of nowhere, how long do you think it is going to take for someone to find you and administer medical treatment? The highest of the states are sparsely populated ones. There are a lot of people living on the coast of Mississippi, but one or two miles north of I-10, a huge chunk of the state becomes the middle of nowhere.

Not to mention, plenty of those areas still have two lane highways that people travel on. A head-on collision on a two lane highway is usually pretty horrible.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:08 AM

13. More cars, hence..

.. more drunk, elderly, and impaired driving.

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Response to ananda (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:14 AM

14. Florida, Texas and California

probably have more traffic daily than the rest of the country combined, and they aren't anywhere near the highest. I really think it is because when people have wrecks in those high traffic states, a) everyone knows about it because of the large number of people those wrecks affect, and b) medical attention is provided much more quickly. And please don't tell me about elderly drivers. The freaking early bird specials in Florida put everybody trying to get home from work in contention with all of the seniors flocking to Bob Evans. I used to hate that about St. Pete.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:32 AM

15. More shitty beer.

 

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #15)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:41 AM

16. Public Transportation in Large Cities

 

Greater amounts of public transportation in blue states (cities) plays a role in lowering the death rate. It is hard to get in a fatal car crash riding the subway.


Macoy

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Response to Macoy51 (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:49 AM

18. "Riding on the Metro" - Berlin, circa 1982, "Pleasure Victim" album.

 

Yes, that's Terri Nunn. Her credits on the album are "Vocals, BJs".

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:17 PM

46. Great Song, Sir

Thank you for the reminder of it.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #46)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 05:15 PM

56. Then there's the extended version of "SEX" (only on the CD, not vinyl)

 


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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:56 AM

19. Thread title is misleading.

Calif.,Texas and Fla. have the most traffic fatalities per the chart.

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Response to Go Vols (Reply #19)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:00 AM

20. Those three states

also probably have more traffic on their roads than the rest of the country combined.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:03 AM

21. I would agree 100%.

Is prolly why they are first.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:05 AM

23. If I were to guess.

three top issues would be.

Speed
Lighting
Alcohol

Rural vs. Urban

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:07 AM

24. Perhaps a dearth of EMTs due to budget cuts.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:38 AM

25. I can think of a couple of reasons

1. Young boys in rural counties are taught and allowed to drive farm vehicles as young as 8 or 9 and believe they can drive a vehicle just like they drive a tractor. I have a friend who never even stops for red lights unless he can see a cop who might pull him over.

2. Most male drivers have never had any formal driver's ed. Young girls usually have rudimentary driver's ed as part of high school, if their fathers approve. (Yeah, they're quite the misogynistic bunch!)

3. Wide open country roads which allow unhealthy speeds until they come around the curve and find that tree with a bunch of plastic flowers and homemade crosses attached to it, to honor the other 100 fatalities.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:59 AM

30. Did you read to the end of the article?

Silverstein stated that some experts have critiqued the use of analyzing deaths per 100,000 people, suggesting deaths per total miles traveled may be more accurate.

Still, some insist the partisan divide is just coincidental, as too many factors are at play when it comes to traffic fatalities.

Anne McCartt, the senior vice president for research with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety told Silverstein:

No matter how you look at fatal crash rates, there are some important things that explain why states are different, and they’re not political explanations.



The guy who made the chart (not you) obviously has a very partisan agenda that won't let truth get in his way. It's the kind of stuff that one expects from Hannity, Limbaugh or Beck.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:59 AM

31. Simple

Like Corvairs, dumbasses are unsafe at any speed.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:03 AM

32. Two-lane non-divided highways with speeds of 60+ and

gravel/dirt roads. Having lived in rural red areas.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #32)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:25 PM

47. THIS... It would happen all the same in rural blue areas, if they existed. nt

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:04 AM

33. Just speaking for WV, we have the highest cost per mile of road and worst roads in the nation

Our cost to both build and maintain a mile of roadway is the highest in the nation, we have rugged topography and a low population (taxpayer) base which means hard roads to build and nobody to pay for them. Add to that poorly maintained and old cars, which is exactly what you'd expect from a generally poor population, and sprinkle that with a massive dose of ignorance and pretty soon you start stacking up dead people.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:05 AM

34. The standard one-mile rural/agricultural grid

Running stop signs out in the country at night-time is fairly normal behavior by some, with expected results.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:11 AM

35. Texas just went up to 85 MPH on a stretch of highway...

Texans assume that is the speed limit on all roads.
Just about every fatality is speed or alcohol related.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:12 PM

36. Easy answer:

assholes drive like assholes

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #36)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:49 PM

51. I was going to say "dumb rednecks drive like dumb rednecks"



but I though it was too harsh. Thanks for beating me to it ...

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:17 PM

37. Speeding drunk at night on 2-lane highways and roads.

Also colliding with deer and livestock, roads without guard rails, more SUVs and pickups with high center of gravity...

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:53 PM

41. Substance abuse--especially booze and meth? Poorly maintained cars and rattle-trap clunkers?

Lower collective population IQ? Substandard Drivers' Ed progams--poorly financed and badly taught?

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:57 PM

42. Because good ole boys

consider drunk driving a form of contact sport.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:16 PM

45. Low population density, rural, no public transportation = more miles driven

It's not rocket surgery.

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Response to TransitJohn (Reply #45)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:17 PM

48. ++ Also, most of those miles are at highway speeds, typically on shoulderless two-lane roads.

Between crashing at 40 MPH and 70 MPH, fatalities go from "almost never" to "more often than not," even if wearing a seatbelt.

Between average speeds in rural vs. metro areas, and crashes typically happening farther away from life-saving help, that pretty well covers the deficit.

It's really not a political issue at all.

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Response to Thegonagle (Reply #48)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:21 PM

49. This. nt

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:46 PM

50. speed kills.

 

There aren't too many places in DC to get a good head of steam going...there's something to be said for gridlock, i guess.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:52 PM

52. Speed limit too high? Too many potholes on roads maintained by the state?

In California, some years ago, they lowered the speed limit to 55 mph. Although, they raised it back to 65 because of complaints, it seems that traffic accidents went down during the time of the lower speed limits. Just a thought.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:59 PM

53. They also have higher rates of teen pregnancy,

unwed mothers, violent crime, and so on. The fact is that the quality of life is better in the blue states. Which is why secession is not a horrible idea.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 05:03 PM

54. Less Likely to support Govt Laws to Control things like Speed Limit

support for better roads and lights and other things which could help prevent accidents.

any info on how many of these accidents are a result of alcohol ?

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 05:06 PM

55. Speed?

Blue states are more densely populated and people have to deal with more traffic. Speed is said to be a factor in accidents. You can't go that fast when stuck in traffic.

I'd be curious to match these statistics with seat belt ticket statistics, crime rates, teen birth rates, etc. The cause could be a difference in lifestyle too.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 05:21 PM

57. Anyone who has seen...

how someone with a Christian Fish sticker or Republican bumpersticker drives will understand how this is possible. Some people drive exactly how they vote - with their heads clean up their arses.

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