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Sunday, 24 June 2007 19:25

Over 40,000 killed driving in U.S each year: Vatican's Pope has answer

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), motor vehicle crashes kill an estimated 1.2 million people worldwide each year, and injure about forty times this number. The Pope has guidelines to help.

Motor vehicle crashes cause more deaths than all natural disasters together. In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that, in 2006, 17,941 people were killed in alcohol- and drug-related motor vehicle crashes. Alcohol and drugs were the primary factors in about 41% of the 43,300 total motor vehicle fatalities in 2006.

Over two-thirds of people who die in vehicles are not properly wearing safety restraints.

Just think about this, each and every year we kill over 40,000 people in the United States. Most of these deaths are simple neglect, and abuse and careless handling of motor vehicles.

Drinking (abusing drugs) and driving, excessive speeds, tailgating, talking on cell phones, and other flagrant disregard of the rules of the road (which are enacted into law by our elected government officials to protect our health and safety) are typical of the way we Americans and other people around the world drive our cars and other motor vehicles.

According to The Graduate Center (City University of New York [CUNY]), 91.6% of U.S. citizens consider themselves religious. So, whether you are Catholic or follow another religion, Pope Benedict SVI and the Vatican has an answer to drastically reduce the number of deaths of people around the world from motor vehicle crashes--and to also become a better person.

Pope Benedict XVI’s “Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road” is found at the ZENIT website: http://www.zenit.org/article-19915?l=english.

[ZENIT is a non-profit international news agency that distributes social doctrine of the Catholic Church.]

The Guidelines are already being humorously called The Ten Commandments of Driving. However, this is no laughing matter.

If people call themselves religious, then shouldn’t they show respect and care for themselves and their fellow human being, whether their fellow human beings are Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, or a member of one of the other religious groups?

One of the way we are failing to live up to our religious and moral beliefs is when we drive our cars, trucks, motorcycles, motor homes, and other motorized vehicles.

Maybe we should all read the Pope’s advice on driving, and think about it the next time we get behind the wheel. One of the Ten Commandments is “Thou Shalt Not Murder”.

When you knowingly get behind the wheel and drive intoxicated, under the influence of drugs, or carelessly and abusively, you are INTENTIONALLY (not accidentally) increasing your chances of killing yourself and, worse, killing innocent people.

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