HOW DO U.S. CRASH FATALITIES COMPARE TO OTHER COUNTRIES?

You and other Tennesseans may be impressed to learn that the rate of motor vehicle crash fatalities in the United States dropped by 31 percent from 2000 to 2013. However, when you compare that number to the statistics from other highly developed countries, 31 percent does not look nearly as good. According to Newsweek, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that compared data from 20 different countries found that the U.S. had the highest number of deaths from car accidents than any of the other nations.

In fact, despite the fact that strategies to prevent accident deaths are well known, 90 people still die from crashes in this country every day. Some of the biggest steps you can take to keep yourself alive include:

  • Not driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Avoiding distractions such as cell phones while driving
  • Wearing a seat belt, even for short distances
  • Always obeying posted speed limits
  • Securing children in the proper age-appropriate restraint system

The other countries included in the study saw an average decrease in accident fatalities of 56 percent for the same time period of 2000 to 2013. Leading the pack was Spain, with an overall death reduction by 75 percent. In addition, Sweden came in with only 2.7 crash deaths per 100,000 people. When you compare that to 10.3 fatalities per 100,000 in the U.S., you can see that there is plenty room for improvement.

If safety measures were to be undertaken to bring us on par with the other countries in the study, it would result in the savings of $210 million dollars in medical costs and save approximately 18,000 lives. Additionally, if you and every other driver used a seat belt every time you got in the car, approximately 3,000 lives could be saved annually.

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