Why Car Crash Deaths are So Common in the U.S.

A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reveals that our country has a higher rate of car accident deaths than most other high-income nations. The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report reveals that we could save 20,500 lives and more than $280 million in medical costs annually if we could reduce the death rate to match the average of other high-income counties. While the report may come as a shock to some, the statistics reveal just why car crash deaths are so common in the United States.

More Cars, More Accidents

A look at the data on cars per capita can clue us into why accidents are so common in our country. In the United States, there are approximately 837 vehicles for every 1000 people. Compare that with Canada, which has 676 cars per 1000 residents, or the United Kingdom, which has just 575 cars per 1000 people. Our car culture is baked into almost every facet of American life. From the drive-thru to the great American road trip, simply living our daily lives requires us to hit the road in some capacity.

With more cars on the road brings greater odds of an accident occurring. Americans aren’t especially bad or unsafe drivers. There are simply more of us traveling on the road each day when compared to other citizens of the world. 

How Safe Systems Could Change Our Odds

Government officials are eager to prevent accidents and save lives. The U.S. Department of Transportation has adopted a Safe System approach to address road safety. This approach aims to address common risks and mitigate them in strategic ways. By acknowledging that human error is bound to occur – and that our bodies are inherently vulnerable – we can begin designing traffic laws and roads that reflect safety priorities. 

Adopting a Safe Systems approach to road safety means adopting a culture of safety. While the plan is ambitious, it could revolutionize the way we travel. Reducing risk requires all parts of the transportation system to be strengthened. While the Safe System approach is unlikely to change things overnight, this strategy has worked well for other high-income countries.

Virginia Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you have legal options. Contact our office to set up your free consultation today 757-233-0009.