The Times Square car crash probably wasn't terrorism. It was something deadlier. – Vox

You could almost hear the sighs of relief as CBS News tweeted out the news: “NYPD says crash in Times Square was likely DWI, not terrorism.” The news came after a car on Thursday crashed into a crowd at Times Square, killing an 18-year-old woman and injuring 22 others — triggering fears that this was yet another terrorist attack like those we had seen in Nice, France; London; Berlin; and Stockholm, Sweden.

Immediately, just about everyone in media knew what this would mean: This story would suddenly get a lot less attention. If it was a terrorist attack, it would lead to days of 24/7 news coverage about the threat of terrorism. If it’s just a drunk driving incident, maybe it’ll get some traction for the day, but not much after.

We should care about both terrorism and alcohol-related deaths. But terrorism kills at worst a few dozen Americans each year, while alcohol is linked to at least 88,000 deaths annually, of which more than 10,000 were driving-related in 2015.

Yet terrorism gets far more media attention.

As MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes tweeted shortly after the news broke, “This horrible event in Times Square looks like DWI, which kills *thousands of more people a year than terrorism* so we can ignore it.” (He later clarified he meant “we” as in the media.)

Drunk driving deaths have plummeted over the past few decades, largely as a result of policy changes that suggest officials, at least, haven’t always ignored the problem. In 1981, drunk driving killed more than 21,000 people. In 2015, it killed more than 10,000. An array of reforms played a big role in that reduction, including raising the legal alcohol age to 21, pushing police to take the enforcement of drunk driving laws much more seriously, and general improvements

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