Dangerous by Design

Are you, like me, hesitant to walk or bike along the edges of our roadways?  Turns out we’re not alone.  Transportation for America has issued a report called Dangerous by Design.

Public health officials encourage Americans of all ages to walk and bike more to stem the costly and deadly obesity epidemic – yet many of our streets are simply not safe. Americans get to pick their poison: less exercise and poor health, or walking on roads where more than 47,000 people have died in the last ten years.

It turns out that pedestrian deaths have increased in 15 metropolitan areas even as overall traffic deaths have fallen.  The probability of a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian resulting in the death of the pedestrian has increased by more than one-third in just ten years.

How serious are we about addressing the obesity epidemic?  This report says it will bankrupt the nation if left unchecked.

The report’s goal is to draw attention to the role obesity plays in the nation’s mounting healthcare spending, which is expected to reach $4.6 trillion dollars annually and consume 19.8 percent of the GDP by 2020, said Glickman.

Here in New Hampshire, the 2006 estimated cost of diabetes was $635,700,000, according to The American Diabetes Association.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, the current diabetes rate of 1 in 10 Americans is set to double or triple by 2050, with as many as 1 in 3 having the disease.  At this rate, one or more members of your immediate family are likely to have diabetes by 2050.  Imagine how that will affect their physical and financial welfare.  That puts a whole new level of meaning on Dangerous by Design.