Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Signs, signs, everywhere there're signs!"

Joni's brother-in-law does a "sign of the week" post, and I sometimes send him material to use for it. I took some pictures of signs on our drive through Kentucky and decided to make my own posts about them.
This uplifting monument can be found at the first truckstop north of Tennessee on I-75. It tells us how many people have died on Kentucky highways. From 2003-2006 there were 3,793 casualties. I highlight these years because of the Iraq war taking place at the same time. According to, 3,003 American soldiers died in Iraq during the same period. So, the data says 790 more people (mostly Americans) died on KY roads than Americans in Iraq from 2003-2006.

It would be wrong to say "You have a better chance of dying on Kentucky highways than you would if you were in Iraq." There are 4 million people in Kentucky, and no telling how many millions passing through it each year. There are only 160,000 or so Coalition troops in Iraq, so the percentages of casualties-per-American are much higher in Iraq.

But, I like this sign precisely because it makes you think about those numbers. If it's this high in Kentucky, how much higher is it in big states California and Texas? A lot more Americans are dying on highways than in wars but we don't hear so much about the highway deaths. I think the purpose of the sign is to make you think and make you slow down on the interstate.
Later we saw a digital sign on I-75 that said: "Stupid driving makes stupid mistakes." This makes no grammatical sense but tries to get the same response from its readers-- slower and more careful driving.

1 comment:

Matt McKee said...

Thanks for the link love. I appreciate it.