Imagine for a moment if concern over traffic death and injury had been treated the same way that smoking related death and disease has been.
1. The main cause of traffic deaths is driving. The optimal means to eliminate this danger is to stop driving. However, though there are alternatives, driving is so basic to most cultures that few governments can seriously consider making private vehicle ownership, or driving, illegal.
2. Enter the inventions of seat belts and airbags. These are not perfect solutions; in fact, though over the population these would radically reduce the toll from driving, some injury and death would arise from using these devices (see here, and here). Given that these alternatives are not perfectly safe, we cannot in good conscience allow them onto the market.
3. Automobile manufacturers are allowed to make their cars safer but must refrain from introducing these devices as they might not only cause some injuries but that they may encourage people who otherwise might not drive to then do so. (If these manufacturers are able to improve the safety of their cars they cannot in any way promote their cars as being safer than any other).
4. Anti-driving groups push for auto prohibitiion and regulation on the grounds that not only does driving hurt drivers but that vehicles imperil innocent pedestrians and children. These same groups also argue against seat belts and airbags because not only are they particularly dangerous to children but that even if they are safer overall, they are much more dangerous than just not driving.
5. These same groups then move to add r ratings to movies in which automobile driving is seen as normal. If there is someone driving in a movie they should either be a villain or they should end up in an accident before the movie is over.