The data shows that on average, 85 Americans are killed by guns every day.

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n what's sure to be controversial news following the tragic mass shooting of elementary-school students in Newtown, Connecticut, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting that by 2015, the number of people dying from guns will be higher than the number of people dying automotive-related deaths.

This has as much to do with changes in attitudes towards safe driving than it does with increased gun violence. More Americans are wearing safety belts than ever before, and harsh punishments for drunk driving (as well as changing attitudes regarding the acceptability of drunk driving) have changed, thus helping to lower the number of folks killed in accidents to 32,000 by 2015, according to the CDC. The CDC estimates that gun deaths, including those from suicides and accidents, will increase to 33,000 by 2015.

gun Gun deaths will pass auto-related deaths by 2015

The data shows that on average, 85 Americans are killed by guns every day (53 of those are suicides). But while deaths from gun violence are up since the year 2000, the number is still below the more than 37,000 killed in 1993. This means that for all the news that gun violence makes—and the heated debate over gun control—it's really more about the increase in auto safety.

Not only are Americans being safer on the roads by wearing seatbelts and driving sober, but cars are much safer, thanks to safety features like airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control systems, and other accident-avoidance tech like lane-departure warning systems and blind-spot monitoring systems. Even the construction of cars helps cut into the number of fatalities.

 As safety technology continues to improve, we expect auto fatalities to continue to trend downward, even with distracted driving being a problem. We're not sure we can say the same about gun violence.