We usually try to focus on the positive aspects of riding bicycles for transportation, but once in a while it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves about the hefty price the U.S. continues to pay for our addiction to fossil fuel (and the automobile).
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for more than one in three deaths in this age group (CDC)
- In 2008, 37,261 motor vehicle occupants and nonoccupants were killed in crashes. In the same year, 2,346,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes. (NHTSA)
- Mobile sources are the largest contributors to air toxics (pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health or environmental effects) and they also contribute significantly to greenhouse emissions. (USEPA)
- In 2000, the 75 largest metropolitan areas experienced 3.6 billion vehicle-hours of delay, resulting in 5.7 billion gallons in wasted fuel and $67.5 billion in lost productivity, or about 0.7% of the nation’s GDP. The congestion cost for the Los Angeles area alone was estimated at $9.325 billion. (TTI)
- In 2008, the U.S. imported 3,580,694,000 barrels of crude oil, with 1,981,725,000 coming from OPEC sources. For that year, the U.S. imported $439 billion worth of energy-related petroleum products. (EIA, NCSE)
Feel free to post additional factoids in the comments below.