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Why Does the U.S. Have Such a High Car Accident Rate?

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On average, there are six million car accidents in the United States every year--that is nearly 16,430 car accidents a day. Of these car accidents, roughly forty thousand Americas die in fatal car accidents. Due to these alarming statistics, the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to compare United States car accident rates with other countries around the world. The study revealed that the U.S. has the highest traffic deaths in the world.

Studies show that the U.S. has the Highest Traffic Deaths in the World

After reviewing 175 nations, the World Health Organization found that the U.S.’s traffic fatality rate is 12.4 deaths per 100,000. That is about 50 percent higher than similar nations in Western Europe, plus Canada, Australia, and Japan. Other studies have found that Americans drive much more than other countries (roughly 8,800 kilometers per capita, versus 4,300 in Canada, 7,000 in Germany, and less than 1,700 in Japan). Although this may contribute to the high number of car accidents, researcher’s studies found that there may be other causes.

Drunk Driving Laws

The study showed that the United States’ drunk driving laws are too lenient compared to peer nationals and the World Health Organization’s recommendations. WHO recommends enforcing drunk driving laws at a low .05 BAC instead of a .08 percent. For example, Canada has stricter penalties for drivers caught violating DUI laws. Alcohol sales are also stricter in countries like Sweden, which has the best traffic safety records.


WHO also discovered that the U.S. fails to control driver speed compared to other nations. In other countries, urban streets have a strict limit of 31 mph. In the U.S., it is difficult for local governments to adjust speed limits because they need state permission. This makes it difficult to penalize drivers who exceed the posted speed limit in dangerous areas. Canada, Western Europe, Australia, even China, and Mexico have stricter controls on speeding than we do.

If you were injured in a car accident caused by a drunk or reckless driver, contact our Texas car accident attorneys today at (888) 273-1045 to schedule a consultation!

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