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To Make Safer Streets, Design Them for Drunk Drivers

Reducing the risk of deaths and injuries from traffic crashes and other mishaps means planning our built environment with an acceptance that people make mistakes.

A DUI checkpoint in Pennsylvania. 

A DUI checkpoint in Pennsylvania. 

Photographer: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images


New data offers a novel lesson on a largely unseen crisis: the rise of “accidental” deaths and injuries, a broad category that includes falls, drownings, poisonings, fires and more.

Basically, “accidental” covers the ways people die by injury, outside of violence or disease, and it’s skyrocketing as a cause of death in the U.S. Accidents killed some 173,000 people in 2019. By 2020, the accidental death toll jumped to more than 200,000.