“Since 1980, when MADD was founded by a bereaved mother after her daughter was killed by a drunk driver, motor vehicle deaths have declined as a result of grassroots activism, meaningful changes to law and policy, technological and cultural changes, as well as investments in research. The new CDC data shows motor vehicle deaths declined slightly in 2017, a continuation of a decades-long downward trend. In fact, the motor vehicle death rate has been nearly cut in half since 1980.
Gun deaths, on the other hand, increased slightly in 2017. Nearly 40,000 people were killed by gun violence in 2017, about 1,100 more than were killed in motor vehicle crashes. An estimated 14,542 people are killed in homicides with guns, according to the CDC. A rise in gun-related suicides also contributed to the increase. An estimated 23,854 people died from suicide using guns in 2017.
As the former CEO of MADD, I see the contrast in these numbers as a reminder of the impact we can have on public crises when policymakers, researchers, industry leaders, victims, survivors and concerned advocates work together to save lives.”