Proven safety measures can reduce U.S. traffic deaths, CDC says

cars on highway

Photo: TomasSereda/iStockphoto

Atlanta – Simple actions such as wearing seat belts, putting children in booster seats, and not drinking and driving could reduce the number of motor vehicle-related deaths in the United States, which has the highest rate of traffic deaths among 19 high-income countries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states in a report released July 6.

For the report, CDC analyzed research from the World Health Organization and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Data showed that although traffic deaths in the United States fell 31 percent between 2000 and 2013, other high-income nations – including Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom – saw crash deaths decrease by an average of 56 percent over the same span.

The United States was found to have the most traffic deaths per 100,000 people and per 10,000 registered vehicles. It also had the second-highest percentage of alcohol-involved deaths (31 percent) and the third-lowest rate of front seat belt use (87 percent).

About 90 people die in traffic crashes in the United States every day.

The National Safety Council issued a statement saying it was “frustrated” by the high death toll. “The United States prides itself on leading, not following,” the statement continued. “Unfortunately our country’s roadway users are the biggest loser. Safety should be the backbone of every great nation. We applaud the CDC for highlighting this issue, and we implore national leaders and drivers to aspire to do better so we can lead the right list and save lives.”

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)