Despite what gets sensationalized by the media, two of my favorite bloggers have come to the table with insightful posts about the tragic accident in Mexico:
It seems that we are not safe anywhere. Tragedy is continually reported all over the world and in this country to a less frequent extent. This may be a simplistic approach, but tragedy seems to come in two flavors: natural and man made (although I suppose in this context man has a part in any tragedy as by either causing it, being effected by it, or both).
If Juan Campos had crashed his car into a fixed object and been the one killed, would it have made national news? Same question if he had crashed and killed one or even more people in another motor vehicle (in some non-spectacular fashion which hadn't been captured for the world to see). I turned off Fox 8 News last night to go to bed before they aired the story on the accident in Mexico, but it's interesting that it was one of the stories that they advertised prior to the news cast coming on.
While riding through the Brecksville Metropark on 5/18, I observed a tragic site just off the road. It was a tree stripped of all of its bark from the ground going up several feet. As we rode by, a couple was just getting into a SUV and there had been a memorial placed at the base of the tree. I had a sinking feeling regarding that scene, which was confirmed on the Internet the following day:
I am not going to try to make any comparison between these two incidents other than they are both very unfortunate and that both could have had far better or had far worse outcomes. The accident in Brecksville occurred on Valley Parkway occurred two days before the previously scheduled date of the Chippewa Creek Road race, which had been cancelled due to road conditions. It occurred on a stretch of road where the speed limit is either 25 or 30 mph.
It is very sad that a young man died. For better, everyone in the car could have survived, or the accident might have simply not happened. For worse, the 3 passengers could have had their lives cut short along with the driver. Or there could have been another vehicle involved (car, bus, bicycle, or train). Yes, this particular accident took place a little past midnight on a Friday morning. However, couldn't a similar accident have happened at a different time, say on a Sunday morning at during a bike race where a driver could have taken out a group of cyclists? If one looks a little closer at the photo on wkyc.com, the bicycle path is visible just beyond the tree. When and where are we truly safe?
Several weeks ago, I found a link to a blog with some statistics illustrating the average odds of dying from various causes:
Notice the top 3: heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Cycling will prevent heart disease and stroke, so it's certainly better to ride than to not.http://cyclonecross.blogspot.com/2008/04/whew-i-guess-these-odds-are-ok.html
I guess I should have mentioned the fourth cause: motor vehicle accident. Pedestrian accident comes in at #8, Motorcycle accident at #10, and Bicycling accident at #12. Of the 7 causes including and between umber 17 (hot weather) through the rarest cause listed as number 23 (fireworks discharge), five out of the seven would be considered to be caused by Nature.
For those who are interested, it looks like the image listing the "Total odds of dying, any cause" was posted on the NSC.org website in August '06 and was available there until June '07.
The accident in Mexico should serve as a reminder that life is precious. More importantly, it should serve as a reminder to be careful anytime you take to the road, whether walking, running, riding, or driving. Particularly while driving, since you hold the lives of others in your hands in addition to your own life.