Death stalks das Land

This was a bloody weekend on Austria’s roads. 28 accidents, 45 injured, 6 dead.

Thomas H. was on his way to his niece’s baptism in Vienna. His blue Seat, overtaking at 160km/h, crashed into a red Hyundai coming the other way. Thomas died immediately. In the other car were two men and three children. All dead. The mother of one of the children said, “She just wanted to go on a trip. My daughter was everything to me.”

We have made a devil’s pact with the automobile: we accept and celebrate its existence and happily ignore the awful risk facing us whenever we drive. The risk is acceptable because, after all, accidents happen to other people.

The car has helped kill 580 people in Austria in 2006. It is safe to say that if just one person was killed by a terrorist’s bomb, the country would be mortified. Let’s put relative threats into perspective.

Oh, and please slow down.