With a significant active military and veteran presence in Puyallup, surrounding areas and across Washington, it makes sense that many of our regular readers have extensive knowledge of our nation’s defense history. Even the most knowledgeable military scholars might be surprised, however, to learn that since 2000, more Americans have been killed in motor vehicle crashes than all of the Americans who died in World War I and World War II combined.

The numbers are jarring: 535,000 members of the U.S. military died in the world wars, while more than 624,000 people died in car crashes. Another 30 million injuries were sustained in those wrecks since 2000.

A recent Washington Post article pointed out that most of those violent roadway wrecks were caused by distracted drivers, speeding or drunk drivers.

“Where’s the social outrage?” asked the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board. “There should be social outrage.”

When the National Transportation Safety Board put together a list of safety improvements it wants to see incorporated in new vehicles, three of its 10 involved those three types of drivers: speeding, distracted, drunk.

All three involve a reckless level of driver thoughtlessness. The driver is either more concerned with a cellphone than they are with safety (their own and the safety of other motorists), or they are rushing to get somewhere (though arrival time is rarely truly important) or they have consumed too much alcohol (one of the very worst decisions a driver can make).

Those who are injured in a car crash caused by someone else have the right to pursue justice and compensation, however. Discuss your legal options with a Puget Sound area attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.