Although it may be surprising to some, the United States is home to the
most dangerous roadways in all of the industrialized world. As other countries
have become progressively safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists,
the United States continues to lag behind, leading to a high number of
injuries and deaths in car crashes across the country.
While road safety in the rest of the industrialized world has been steadily
improving over the past several years, the U.S. is failing to keep the
pace. How serious is the problem, and what are we doing to address the problem?
The History of U.S. Road Safety
Driving in the United States used to be relatively safe, when compared
to other industrialized countries. In fact, in 1990, according to the
New York Times, fatality rates in Australia and Canada were approximately
10 percent higher than the fatality rate in the United States. In the
years since then, other industrialized countries have made significant
strides to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities, while the United
States has not made as much of an effort. Safer vehicles have still led
to a decrease in fatalities in the United States, but the rate of fatalities
in this country has not fallen nearly as quickly as it has in other industrialized nations.
Today, the United States is an outlier when it comes to road safety. The
current fatality rate is higher than that of Slovenia, which once had
five times as many deaths per capita as the United States. The fatality
rate in the United States is also 40 percent higher than the fatality
rates of Australia and Canada. There are more deaths in the United States
from car crashes than from gun violence. In addition, many of the people
killed in these accidents are young, healthy, productive members of society.
How Can the U.S. Improve Road Safety?
One of the ways in which the United States can improve road safety and
reduce the number of fatalities is through innovations in technology.
One such innovation is the development of driverless cars. These vehicles
use computers to control all of their maneuvers, leaving all people inside
the car as virtual "passengers." Because these cars operate
with computers, they aren't as vulnerable to human error or poor judgment,
leading to fewer crashes. This type of technology is expected to become
much more common over the next decade. Although many people are afraid
of the idea of allowing a computer to control their vehicles, the current
situation is actually more dangerous.
Driverless vehicles aren't the only development that could improve
road safety in the United States. Other countries have been able to reduce
the number of crashes on their highways by analyzing the factors that
cause most accidents and addressing each one directly. One of the most
important factors contributing to crashes is speed. When drivers are traveling
at high speeds, crashes are more likely to occur. In addition, crashes
that occur at high speeds are more likely to cause serious injuries or
even fatalities than crashes occurring at lower speeds. The United States
can deal with this issue by lowering speed limits and installing more
speed cameras for the enforcement of these limits.
Another factor that contributes to fatalities is the use of seatbelts.
While seatbelt use is widespread in other industrialized countries, as
many as one in seven drivers in the United States still drives without
wearing a seatbelt. Likewise, other countries also have lower rates of
drunken driving because of stricter laws. Strengthening of DUI and seatbelt
laws, as well as better enforcement, could reduce accident and fatality
rates in the United States. Unfortunately, many Americans are resistant
to these ideas because they feel stronger laws and harsher penalties would
restrict too many freedoms.
Seeking Guidance after an Accident
Car accidents often lead to serious injuries or even death. If you or someone
you love has been involved in an accident caused by someone else, you
may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and
other related expenses.
If you have any questions about this topic or believe that someone else’s
negligence or recklessness is responsible for your injuries, the attorneys
at Stabinski & Funt, P.A. can help. For 45 years, we have been the
trusted advocates for countless personal injury victims and their families
throughout South Florida. We offer risk-free consultations and work on
a contingency basis, which means that we do not require you to pay any
fees until we have secured a recovery on your behalf. Contact us today
by calling 305-964-8644 or filling out a
free case evaluation form to find out how we can help you.