Death Toll High on U.S. Highways

California motorists may be interested to learn that the United States is one of the most dangerous wealthy countries to drive in. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says car crashes kill more people in the U.S. than in any other high-income country in the world.

A total of 32,000 people died in car accidents on U.S. highways in 2013. As alarming as this statistic is, it represents a 31 percent decrease in traffic fatalities over the previous 13 years. However, the death rate for other wealthy countries has been dropping even more. Spain had the most dramatic decrease of 75.1 percent. The CDC says that 18,000 U.S. lives could have been saved if the country's fatality rate dropped by 56 percent, the average of the other wealthy nations. More recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that traffic fatalities rose 7.7 percent from 21014 to 2015, when 35,200 people died in car accidents.

The CDC attributed the high fatality rate to drunk drivers, speeding and failure to use seat belts. The United States is second only to Canada when it comes to alcohol-related car crashes. Plus, the CDC says at least 3,000 more lives could have been saved if people had worn seat belts.

When a loved one dies from injuries suffered in a car accident, their surviving family members may be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death claim against the negligent driver. A personal injury attorney might be able to explain eligibility for such claims and assist in obtaining compensation.

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