Most American adults drive every day. Which makes it easy to for us to forget how terrifying and insane it is that we entrust virtually anyone to safely operate a two-ton machine traveling at 70 miles per hour.
This comic — one of Ryan North's many hilarious and absurd Dinosaur Comics — perfectly captures this lunacy. Lose your concentration while driving for just a second, and you risk killing yourself, your loved ones, and total strangers.
The good news is that traffic deaths in the US have been declining for several decades now. But the bad news is that cars still kill more than 30,000 people per year — putting them just outside the top 10 causes of death in the US.
The even worse news is that outside of a few particular cities, pretty much our entire country's transportation infrastructure has been designed for cars, making it extremely difficult for us to substantially reduce our dependence on them.
Eventually, self-driving cars might completely change this equation, saving thousands of lives. Still, some experts are skeptical they'll ever fully take off.