US has highest car crash fatality rate

US has highest car crash fatality rate

Every day, about 90 people die from car accidents in the US, according to a newly released government report. And while this number has gone down significantly in past years, it is by far the highest fatality rate among countries with similar incomes and populations.

The new study, released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that while reducing motor vehicle crash deaths was “one of the great public health achievements of the 20th century for the US,” still more than 32,000 people are killed and two million are injured each year from these crashes. The CDC also found that over 18,000 lives could be saved each year, if US crash fatalities were the same as the average crash rates of 19 other comparable income countries.

The CDC says major risk factors that contributed to crash deaths include:

  • Not using seat belts, car seats and booster seats: more than 9,500 crash deaths
  • Drunk driving: more than 10,000 crash deaths
  • Speeding: more than 9,500 crash deaths

“While I’ve noticed a decrease in the number of motor vehicle accidents, I’ve also seen an increase in the number of motorbike accidents,” says Dr. John Piotrowski, medical director of the emergency department and chairman of emergency medicine at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill.

He says another major risk factor is “distracted and multitasking drivers, who are prevalent in younger generations. There have been many accidents that are the result of teens trying to text, send selfies or Snapchat while driving.”

Direct medical costs that resulted from crash deaths in one year totaled more than $380 million, according to the CDC.

However, there are ways to prevent these accidents and deaths. The CDC advises the folllowing in order to prevent accidents:

  • Use a seat belt, in every seat, on every trip, no matter how short the distance being driven
  • Make sure children are always properly buckled in 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

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Comments

4 Comments

  1. Stop tailgating.

  2. Has drowsy driving been taken into account. I see many accidents due to driver fatigue.

  3. How about the distractions provided by children screaming, fighting, and crying in the back seat.

  4. I’m really glad the CDC spent our tax dollars on another study. Unfortunately, we don’t need more studies. What we need is action. If cell providers and / or the government really wanted to prevent distracted driving as a result of motorist trying to text, send selfies, use Snapchat, browse the web, etc., while driving, it would be done. The technology to accomplish this has been available for years and it would be a rather simple matter for cell carriers to enforce such restrictions on a national level. Unfortunately, I suspect this is another case where profit takes precedent over any real concern for safety. Our government could also mandate such action, but with millions of dollars being pumped into political campaigns by the cell phone industry, this seems unlikely. I’m really sick of all the lip service various governmental agencies give to the dangers of distracted driving, when it’s within their power to do something about it and they do nothing!

    If parents are really concerned and want to control their children’s cell usage, there are several commercial applications that make this possible right now. Programs such as Cellcontrol, Drive Safe Mode, DriveOFF, DriveMode, DriveMode, DriveScribe, Canary and Live2Txt allow parents to turn off certain features, such as texting, web browsing, camera operation, etc., while the phone is in motion.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.