Why Does The U.S. Lead The World In Traffic Fatalities?

Why Does The U.S. Lead The World In Traffic Fatalities

During the last century, the United States was a leader in the promotion of safer driving.

Many safety improvements were pioneered in the 20th century: electric horns, bumpers, shatterproof window glass, padded dashboards, seatbelts, airbags, and all-wheel brakes.

Despite these advances, and despite amazing new safety technologies emerging today, the U.S. still has the highest on-road fatality rate of any major nation.

U.S. Traffic Accident Statistics

According to the National Safety Council, there were 38,300 traffic deaths and 4.4 million injuries in traffic accidents on U.S. roads in 2015.

In 2013, the U.S. death rate from car crashes was more than double the average of other developed nations, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Why then, does the United States have such a high death and accident rate?

One reason, according to the CDC, people are not using the safety features available to them. Fewer U.S. passengers use seat belts than passengers in other countries.

Drivers are also engaging in reckless behavior. One in three crash deaths in the U.S. involves alcohol. One in three crashes involves driving above the speed limit.

Is this reckless attitude built into the American personality?

The CDC doesn’t express an opinion on this issue. However, they do want us to know that, despite our dangerous habits, we are making some progress toward safer driving. Crash deaths in this country fell precipitously in the years from 2000 to 2013 – by 31 percent, in fact.

However, our progress is not as great as that experienced in other high-income countries. Traffic deaths have fallen 56 percent, on average, in other industrialized nations.

If the U.S. was able to match the death reduction rate of other nations, we could prevent 18,000 deaths a year.

We all play a role in keeping our roadways safe. Buckle up. Slow down. Minimize distractions. And if you’re drinking or high, hand the keys to someone else. We at Cutter Law want you to live.

Personal injury and civil justice attorney Brooks Cutter is a leading advocate for consumer justice and protecting the rights of the severely injured. Brooks founded Cutter Law, P.C., with offices in Sacramento and Oakland, with…
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