This isn’t new. In 2016 when Brazil was gearing up for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janiero, the U.S.A. earned the top mark in traffic related fatalities and injuries.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), released a comprehensive evaluation revealing that the U.S. had the highest traffic fatality death rate among any developed nation.
Our infographic shows how U.S.A. quietly topped the developed nations in traffic fatalities, and affirmed once again our need for Vision Zero safety initiatives. Read about how Vision Zero initiatives have taken shape in Austin and Texas.
In July 2016 the CDC released a report that compared the U.S. with 19 other developed countries with similar populations. The report evaluated numbers from 2013, in which 32,894 Americans died in motor vehicle crashes and over 2 million were injured.
“In 2013, the United States motor vehicle crash death rate of 10.3 per 100,000 population had decreased 31% from the rate in 2000; among the 19 comparison countries, the rate had declined an average of 56% during this time.”
The findings from CDC suggest that a need for Vision Zero ATX is long from over. Team U.S.A. soared above and beyond other nations when totaling traffic injuries and fatalities.
Traffic Fatalities: How the U.S.A. Ranks Among Developed Nations
U.S.A. Has the Most Traffic Fatalities in the World
How U.S.A. Quietly Won “Gold” Highest Traffic Fatalities and Injuries
Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths Per 100,000 Population U.S.A. nearly doubled any other nation in per capita crash deaths. 10 in every 100,000 Americans may die in a car accident.
Car Accident Injury and Fatality in U.S.A. More than 32,000 people died as a result of a car accident in the U.S. in 2013.
As many as 2 million people are injured in nonfatal crashes each year in the U.S.
U.S.A. Saw The Lowest Decrease in Traffic Fatalities
Between 2000 and 2013, traffic fatalities decreased by 31% in the U.SA. In 2015, traffic fatalities increased nationwide in the United States.
During the same time period, other nations saw a slow decline as well. Among the “worst” in traffic injury prevention were Finland, Canada, Japan and Australia.
Spain saw the greatest improvement in traffic safety and injury prevention over a 13 year period.
Even though no other nation came close to seeing the type of improvement in car accident prevention that Spain had, a few other contenders saw improvement. Ireland and Denmark also increased seatbelt use, reduced impaired driving, and lowered speeding in their countries. It may also be possible that people are driving less in Spain, Denmark and Ireland because of alternative transportation or less need.
It’s No Accident Team U.S.A. Scored Highest in Traffic Injuries
Team U.S.A. scored big in all events – but why? There are three top reasons the CDC and WHO looked at to explain the why the U.S. has a larger per capita traffic fatality rate.
- Seatbelt Use
- Impaired Driving
CDC Says Seat belt Use Among Lowest in America
When CDC and WHO examined available data for seat belt use, the United States ranked 18th out of 20 for front seat belt use. Drivers on team U.S.A. have adamantly ignored the “Click it or Ticket” campaigns – a practice which continues in the back seat where the U.S. made 13th out of 18th for rear seat belt use.
Front Seat Belt Use Around the World:
- The U.S. ranked 18th of 20 developed countries in front seat belt use.
- In 2013, 87% of Americans used a seat belt in the front seat.
- For the same time period, France reported 99% front seat belt use.
- Austria had the lowest use of front seat belts with 86%
- The mean for all 20 countries was 94.1% and median was 95%
Study Shows Impaired Driving Causes Injury for team U.S.A.
Look at any Super bowl commercial break. It is clear Americans love driving their cars, anytime, anywhere. United States reported the highest percentage of motor vehicle crash deaths involving alcohol-impaired driving (31%).
We know at McMinn Law Firm that about 60 deaths could have been prevented in Austin alone. 18 Austin pedestrian deaths could have been prevented in 2015 with safer alcohol consumption. Drinking and driving has serious consequences that may only begin with a trip to jail.
Each year in the United States, around 10,000 people die in alcohol-impaired–driving collisions. Preventive measures can include increased enforcement, including publicized sobriety checkpoints, ignition interlocks, and enforcing the minimum legal drinking age of 21.
Speeding Cited as Top Factor in Traffic Injuries Worldwide
The U.S. was in the top half of countries in percentage of crash deaths that involved speeding. 29% of all fatal crashes in the U.S. involved speeding. U.S. ranked 8th out of 15 countries reporting in this measure.
The CDC comments that although substantial progress has been made in reducing traffic fatalities, the number of traffic related fatalities and injuries in the U.S. still remains to be a significant and serious public health problem in the U.S. Compared with 19 other countries, the U.S. has seen less progress in reducing traffic fatalities.
Exactly what the U.S. loses when we take driving risks:
- More than 32,000 people die
- More than 2 million lives are affected by nonfatal traffic injuries each year
- 12,000 lives would be saved if the U.S. improved to the level as the country with the second highest per capita traffic fatalities, Belgium.
U.S.A. Adopted Sweden’s “Vision Zero” Safety Initiative
Advocates Maintain that All Injuries Are Preventable
The Vision Zero Safety initiative began in Sweden, and has since gained popularity in America.
Austin is among 18 U.S. cities that have adopted the Vision Zero approach. Austin has it’s own Vision Zero Safety Task Force that works to design safe infrastructure and grassroots organizing coalition called Vision Zero ATX.
Advocates of Vision Zero seek to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injury on the roads. Advocates call on media and civil servants not to accept injury or death as an “accident,” saying that it is the responsibility of the infrastructure creators and negligence of drivers that are true causes of injury.