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Despite Improvements In Car Safety, The Deaths Just Keep Coming

Almost everyone needs to either drive or ride in a car to get to work or school every day. While cars are fast, comfortable, and convenient, driving a car also carries substantial risks. Over the 20th century, the United States' car industry evolved to include safety protections such as seat belts, airbags, and vehicular safety ratings. Since the new millennium, the United States fatal crash rate plummeted 31% and was hailed as one of the greatest public health achievements ever. Unfortunately, other high-income countries saw their rates drop by 56%. This simply wasn't good enough.

One Of The Highest Car Crash Fatality Rates In The World

Each year, more than 30,000 people are killed each year in car accidents. Over 2 million people sustain serious injuries from car crashes. Multiple surveys have repeatedly shown that people in the United States do not use seat belts as frequently as other high-income countries. Furthermore, more people in the United States drive while drinking or are otherwise under the influence of a narcotic behind the wheel of the car than in other high-income countries. This amounts to 90 people dying every day due to car accidents. This is the highest death rate from car accidents in the developed world.

Increased use of seat belts would help reduce lower the fatalities

Why are more people in the United States being killed in car accidents than in other countries? There are several major risk factors that predispose people to dangerous car accidents. First, too few people use seat belts. These are placed in vehicles for a reason, yet many people still neglect to use them. Over the years, seat belts have evolved from being nonexistent in cars to the lap belt and finally to the shoulder and lap belt used today. Repeated studies have shown that seat belts save lives. In fact, in 2013, seat belts saved over 12,500 lives. Half of the people killed in car accidents weren't using their seat belts. It goes without saying that many of these fatalities could have been prevented by proper seatbelt use.

Driving while intoxicated

Furthermore, drunk driving played a role in over 10,000 car accident fatalities in 2013. A drunk behind the wheel doesn't just place the driver at risk but anyone else in the car or on the road. Study after study has shown that driving while drunk severely impairs driving capacity. Yet state legislatures around the country are reluctant to inflict more severe jail sentences when a drunk driver causes an accident resulting in death. Perhaps many elected officials know that on any given Saturday night, it could have been themselves causing the DWI accident. 

Speeding and reckless driving 

Speeding contributed to 9,500 fatalities from car accidents in 2013. While almost everyone speeds, this technically is illegal and can markedly cut reaction time in an acute situation, reducing the opportunity for drivers to take evasive action while on the road. Speed limits are in place for a reason. If people obeyed speed restrictions, the number of fatal car accidents would plummet.

Hire a South Florida wrongful death lawyer

For individuals in South Florida, innocent people can be harmed by individuals making poor decisions behind the wheels of the car. This can lead to substantial financial costs in the form of medical bills and property damage that could have been avoided by better decision-making and avoidance of criminal activity. For residents of South Florida injured in a car accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. There may be legal means for financial compensation that can assist with these costly expenses.

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