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Guns, motor vehicles and U.S. deaths, the trend lines
Ben Wear of the Austin American-Statesman looked into deaths by firearms versus deaths in motor vehicle accidents, ultimately questioning the comparison (graphic by Linda Scott, Cox Media Group). Ben Wear of the Austin American-Statesman looked into deaths by firearms versus deaths in motor vehicle accidents, ultimately questioning the comparison (graphic by Linda Scott, Cox Media Group).

Ben Wear of the Austin American-Statesman looked into deaths by firearms versus deaths in motor vehicle accidents, ultimately questioning the comparison (graphic by Linda Scott, Cox Media Group).

By W. Gardner Selby November 2, 2015

After we found Mostly True a Hillary Clinton claim that about 90 Americans a day die because of guns, a reader said hold on, pardner.

The man’s beef: Far more people die from automobile accidents than from guns but you don’t see anyone stumping on clamping down on trucks and cars.

We turned his contention over to Ben Wear, longtime transportation writer for the Austin American-Statesman. In a commentary, Wear concluded that while around the same number of Americans lately die from guns or in motor vehicles, the comparison doesn’t hold up.

In 2013, the most recent year for which complete and verified stats are available, 32,719 people in the U.S. died in vehicle-related incidents. That same year, firearms killed 33,636 in the United States. So, coincidentally, they are roughly equal, with the gun deaths slightly greater.

But motor vehicle deaths have been trending down--unlike deaths involving firearms, Wear noted. He went on to pinpoint other reasons for finding this comparison lacking in traction.

Read Ben Wear’s full analysis here.

See our check of Hillary Clinton’s claim here.

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Guns, motor vehicles and U.S. deaths, the trend lines