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U.S. Has Highest Car Crash Death Rate

July 8, 2016

More people die in car crashes each year in the United States than in other high-income countries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report on July 6, 2016.    In 2013, more than 32,000 people died on U.S. roads, roughly 90 fatalities a day, according to the CDC.   Car accidents are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

The U.S. has seen a 31% reduction in its motor vehicle death rate per capita over the past 13 years. But compared with 19 other wealthy countries, which have declined an average of 56% during the same period, the U.S. has the slowest decrease. Road death rates in countries such as Spain and Denmark have dropped 75.1% and 63.5%, respectively.

If the United States had reduced its death rate to the average of other countries, 18,000 more lives would have been saved, according to the CDC report wherein researchers analyzed data from 2000 to 2013 and took into consideration accidents and fatalities that involved drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists.

The United States also performed badly in other measures. It ranks first in crash deaths per 100,000 people and per 10,000 registered vehicles. It’s the second-highest, after Canada, in the percentage of deaths involving alcohol (at 31%).  A startling statistic is that the United States is the third-lowest, after Austria and Belgium, in national front seat belt use (at 87%) among the 20 countries.

The CDC Vital Signs report calls this “a serious public health issue.”   Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed a 7.7% increase in road deaths in 2015, jumping from 32,600 in 2014 to 35,200 last year.   Dr. Debra Houry, director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, attributed the high U.S. death rates to alcohol use, speeding and infrequent use of seat belts, especially among children. She mentioned Wednesday that 38% of children under the age 12 who died in car crashes in 2013 were not wearing seat belts.   The Vital Signs report says 3,000 more lives would be saved if everyone were buckled up.    To improve road safety, drivers and passengers can follow these tips:

  • Use a seat belt in every seat, on every trip, no matter how short.
  • Make sure children are always properly buckled into the back seat in a car seat, booster seat or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their age, height and weight.
  • Choose not to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and help others do the same.
  • Obey speed limits.
  • Drive without distractions (such as using a cell phone or texting).

Call A Personal Injury Attorney for Advice

If you or a loved one fall victim to a car accident caused by someone’s negligence, then it is imperative that you contact a Maine injury lawyer. You must act quickly because there is a statute of limitations that restricts the time within which you can take legal action. You should rely upon an experienced Maine personal injury attorney to assist you in gaining legal compensation for injuries and damages that you have suffered.

Contact Marchese Injury Law, P.A. Our legal professionals can help you. We can help open a claim with the insurance companies, assist with the car damage claims, wrongful death actions, probate-related matters and getting your medical bills paid, while also getting you the compensation that you deserve.   Call us toll free nationwide at 207-775-6042.  Our office is in Portland, Maine, and we have convenient parking in the garage attached to our office building.  We could also meet wherever it is convenient for you.  We offer free consultations, and as always, there are no fees unless you win your case.   Drive and cycle safely!

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