We Americans love and live with our cars -- but too many of us die in them.
There are lots of reasons for traffic fatalities. Among the major causes are drinking drivers, speeders and many drivers who just don't pay enough attention.
Every traffic death is a tragedy that radiates through our families and our country.
But as saddening as were 33,963 traffic deaths in 2009 -- 976 in Tennessee -- the "good news" is that the nation's 2009 death toll was the lowest since 1954.
As we welcome that reduction in traffic deaths, let's save our own lives and those of our families and others this year simply by avoiding drinking and driving, slowing down, keeping alert and being much more careful at all times in our cars.