In 1958, a TWA Super Constellation and a United DC-7 departed from Los Angeles three minutes apart headed east. While over the Grand Canyon the two aircraft maneuvered separately to give their passengers a better view of the canyon. The planes collided killing all 128 people aboard both planes. In response to the crash, the government invested 250 million dollars to upgrade the air traffic control system and created the Federal Aviation Agency (now known as the FAA). According to an article posted in Popular Mechanics, http://tinyurl.com/9jbeuqs
there hasn’t been a collision between two airliners in the United States in 47 years.
In 2009, about 3,000 teens in the United States aged 15-19 were killed and more than 350,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in car accidents, motor vehicle crashes and automobile collisions. According to the CDC fact sheet for teen driving, http://tinyurl.com/9jbeuqs, young drivers aged 15-24 represent only 14% of the population but account for 30% of the cost of auto accident injuries.
128 deaths in a spectacular airline crash motivated a 250 million dollar investment (in 1958 dollars) and a new federal department. Wouldn’t it make sense for 3,000 teen deaths to motivate a national initiative with real investment?