On a cold December night, as families of victims of crashes remember loved ones, a bright star appeared in the dark skies in the year 2017. Marianne Karth, a mother who lost two of her children in a truck underride crash, has created and launched a new tool – an Interactive Underride Crash Map – for crash victims to remember their loved ones.
On a cold December night, as families of victims of crashes remember loved ones, a bright star appeared in the dark skies in the year 2017. Marianne Karth, a mother who lost two of her children in a truck underride crash, has created and launched a new tool – an Interactive Underride Crash Map – for crash victims to remember their loved ones. 1
This is a landmark event in the long quest to end the tragedies of vehicle violence. It gives victims a new voice, a place to share their sorrows, and organize to counter the economic forces that have held back safety progress for the past century.
Vehicle violence deaths and injuries are tallied in government data to amount to nearly four million deaths and nearly one billion people injured in the U.S. over the past century.2
When we examine current year-to-date estimated data for both crashes and early deaths due to air pollution, we find nearly 33,000 crash deaths, 400,000 crash injuries, and 48,000 auto air pollution early deaths in the U.S. alone since Trump was inaugurated President. 3
Note: the U.S. government statistics are the numbers of people that suffered, but their pain and suffering and that of their families and friends is not tallied. Imagine what progress can be achieved when individual people can voice their stories and link to others who have similar stories.
What Marianne Karth has done went beyond my efforts in the field of auto safety mapping crash death fatality statistics by Congressional District and by State. 4
Now victims of vehicle violence can organize their stories to send stronger messages to their Representatives and Senators. And now, the public can learn more about the problems their fellow citizens have suffered and that continue to threaten them. Think of defects such as the GM ignition switch and the Takata airbag that continue endangering people every day.
Victims’ Voices Victorious
When government fails to protect people, victims of violence have begun to organize to protect themselves – and now can do more. 5
- Victims of sexual violence are beginning to speak out and force positive change, such as #MeToo bringing down perpetrators through public opinion power.
- Victims of racial violence are bringing positive change though elections, such as in Alabama.
- Victims of environmental violence are building political power.
- Victims of police brutality are using cell phone videos to seek justice.
- Victims of political violence are organizing political counterforces.
At this time when we need peace from all kinds of violence, Marianne Karth has shown us what the citizen power of victims can do for us all.
She and her family have empowered us all and advanced our ability to move closer to achieving Vision Zero for vehicle violence and for all types of violence.
At this time of the year Marianne Karth has brought joy to the world!