Everyone knows that driving is dangerous, even if we don’t think about those dangers on a daily basis. However, what most Americans don’t realize is the fact that the United States has more car accident deaths each year than comparable high-income nations. Even though the United States has seen a dramatic decrease in car accident related deaths over the last 13 years, it hasn’t declined as much as other countries.
Over the last 13 years, U.S. roads have experienced 31 percent less car crash deaths. Meanwhile, 19 other comparable nations have averaged a 56 percent decline in car crash deaths, with the United States falling last on the list in terms of increasing safety conditions. Some countries, like Spain for example, have experienced as much as a 75.1 percent decline. It’s very sad to think that if the United States had experienced safety improvements on par with other nations that 18,000 human lives could have been saved.
That’s not all. U.S. car crash death statistics reveal that our country ranks first among comparable nations when looking at the number of crash deaths per 100,000 people and the number of crash deaths per 10,000 vehicles. It ranks second for the percentage of car crash deaths that involved alcohol, which is 31 percent. America ranks third-lowest when it comes to using front seatbelts.
What does all this boil down to? There’s a lot we can do as a nation to save lives on the road. By avoiding drunk driving and using seatbelts more, U.S. drivers and drivers in Virginia can make big strides in saving lives on the road. Individuals who are hurt due to unlawful or negligent drivers, and close relatives of those who are killed, may also want to file legal claims in court to pursue financial compensation and bring more attention to driver safety issues in our country.
Source: CNN, “US has highest road death rate,” accessed Jan. 20, 2017