Did you see the good news about auto safety?
Probably not. Everyone is so focused on Toyota’s problems that they missed the headlines. During the last three months of 2009 highway deaths fell for the 15th consecutive quarter to their lowest level in almost 50 years. And traffic-deaths per mile travelled are now at their lowest level ever.
So why don’t we see this? Part of it is the “bad news sells papers” business model of the news industry. It’s hard to write a headline like: “This just in: millions not a car crash.”
But the fact remains that it’s never been safer to get behind the wheel. Cars are less dangerous than horses, and compared with models just 10 years older, today’s cars are longer-lasting, more reliable, and equipped with anti-lock brakes, airbags, traction control, and a better roll cage.
It’s another reason why this economy will come back. Safer roads may mean less work for ambulance drivers, but it means a more productive economy. And that’s good news for all of us.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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