Thursday, August 14, 2014

Perilous Journey - Photographs of Roadside Memorials (Part 2)

Last Car On The Last Train - Rosamond, California

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 33,500 "highway deaths" in 2012. I'm not sure exactly what the requirements are for an automobile related death to be considered "highway" or not, but it is safe to say that even more deaths occurred involving a vehicle than the really high number reported by the NHTSA. We are literally killing ourselves. 

An interesting statistics from the NHTSA report is that one-third of the "highway deaths" in 2012 involved a drunk driver. In two-thirds of nighttime automobile deaths the person who perished was not wearing a seat belt. If people would stop driving drunk and start buckling up, the death toll would be cut in half.

The NHTSA also claims that an average of six children under the age of 15 die each day in traffic accidents in America. Of those children who died in alcohol related accidents, half of the time the drunk was the one driving the car that the children were in. According to the Center for Disease Control, automobile accidents are the number one cause of death of kids in this country.

As I continue the Perilous Journey photography project, the two things that I'm most struck by are the large number of deaths on our roads and that most (if not all) of these deaths didn't have to happen. There are far more roadside memorials on my normal driving routes than I ever realized. Some of the people who died were really young. These deaths were completely preventable.

Hopefully this project will inspire people to drive more carefully, take fewer risks, and just look out for each other on the road. Too many are dying on our roadways. Let's stop killing each other.

All but one of these photographs were captured using a Sigma DP2 Merrill. A Nokia Lumia 1020 was used to capture the other image. I won't say which one it is, and I bet that you can't tell just by looking. That is because photographic vision is much more important than equipment.
Oscar Munoz - Tehachapi, California
Jesus - Rosamond, California
Cross & Thorns - Palmdale, California
RIP Heath Crowder - Tehachapi, California
Unlucky - Palmdale, California
Mourning Memories - Palmdale, California
Crossroads - Palmdale, California
Danny Panduro - Palmdale, California
Perilous Road - Lancaster, California
RIP Maggie Huston - Lancaster, California
Dannielle - Rosamond, California
Mary - Tehachapi, California
Red Rose Remembrance - Mojave, California
Two Died - Mojave, California

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