Here's a counter-example from a century ago. In large part because slow speeds were involved, everyone survived.
Autos Meet Head On
On Silverton Road
No Serious Injuries
|June 15th, 1917|
Blinded by the glare from their own headlights, two automobiles crashed together last night about 10 o'clock on the Salem-Silverton road just the other side of the state fair grounds with the result that Crystal Yates, daughter of Bert Yates, of this city, received cuts on the face from flying glass and others of the party were severely shaken up and bruised. The cars were badly shattered.
S. Krapps, of Salem, was driving his Maxwell home from Silverton and Peter Herr, of Silverton, was driving a Chevrolet toward Silverton when the accident occurred. It is stated that the cars were both going at a rate of from 12 to 15 miles an hour.
In the car with Peter Herr were Mrs. Elvin Herr, Mrs. George Cusiter, Crystal Yates and Mrs. Peter Herr. In the car with Mr. Krapps were Miss Ethel Jones, Miss Merle Tracy, teachers in the Salem high school, and Miss Marjorie Cave and Miss Esther Gremmels.
Crystal Yates was taken to the Willamette Sanatorium where her wounds were dressed by Dr. E. E. Fisher. Miss Cave was severely but not seriously shaken up.
Wider roads optimized for free-flow or faster auto travel also compound the problem.
had been cited six weeks before the crash for speeding. A Marion County deputy pulled Alvarez-Ayala over for driving 78 mph in a 45 mph zone on Cordon Road.But as long as our ideal is this fantasy of free-flowing traffic, the wide and inviting roads we build will induce careless zooming, and these increase the probability of bad actors and catastrophe.
|From 1937 this remains our ideal - via NYRB|
|Front pager on traffic violence|