Traffic, Labor Day And A Death Far Away

Last year there were more than 1.2 million traffic deaths worldwide, according to the WHO

As folks make the mad Labor Day dash to their cars to get — now! — to the Cape, the Vineyard, the in-laws in Connecticut, it’s worth noting two things:

1. Slow down, be safe and embrace an attitude of we’ll-get-there-when-we-get-there (the grill will still be hot when you arrive).

2. Things are far worse elsewhere. For example, here’s a public health professor living in Bangladesh, Tracey Koehlmoos, who’s been blogging for BMJ about the massive number of road traffic deaths where she lives and in poor countries around the world. After writing about the terrible things that happen to others on the treacherous, pothole-laden roads around her, something terrible happened to Koehlmoos: her husband, a U.S. Army colonel, died in a traffic accident last month.

On 27 August 2011, my husband, Colonel Randall L. Koehlmoos, US Army, died in a road traffic accident in Jakarta, Indonesia. The irony of a soldier who has served in every major war and peace action for the past three decades meeting his demise on the streets of Jakarta is not wasted on me, even now in the depths of my grief. It highlights that we are all at risk and that this issue must be addressed before more lives are lost and more families suffer. Continue reading

Major Milestone: CommonHealth Monthly Traffic Soars Well Over 100K

Eric F Savage/Flickr CC

Please indulge us in a moment of self-congratulation: As of this morning, CommonHealth’s monthly pageviews have soared to nearly 112,000. Not bad for a blog that was at about 8,000 a month last year. A note on our history:

CommonHealth began as a unique forum to discuss the landmark Massachusetts health care reform of 2006. (You can find archives of those earliest posts in our “Greatest Hits” column below.) In fall of 2010, NPR and The Knight Foundation funded a major expansion that transformed CommonHealth into a full-blown health news Website, covering the next phase of reform but also personal health, medical research, the cost of care and more.

We denizens of the Web live and die by our traffic, that all-too-easily measured metric of whether the public likes what we do. But one of the most heartening revelations of the last few months is that (with a few exceptions like yesterday’s zombie post), our most popular posts are those that are most original, the deepest and even the longest. See our “Greatest Hits” column at the right for a few examples.

We plan to keep doing more of the same. But this high-traffic, big-exhalation morning also seems like a good moment to ask: Readers, what else do you wish we did more of?