August 8th, 2016|
Early last week, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released some troubling news. New data suggests in 2015 the number of U.S. traffic fatalities had risen by nearly 8 percent. In 2015, NHTSA believes an estimated 35,200 individuals lost their lives last year due to traffic fatalities.
News of this increase is extremely alarming because between the years of 2000 and 2013, the U.S. saw a 31 percent decrease in traffic fatalities. However, other developed nations saw a much greater drop in traffic fatalities, with an average decrease of 56 percent.
What’s to blame for the increase in traffic related fatalities?
- Speeding: The NHTSA said around 9,500 traffic fatalities a year are contributed to excessive speeding.
- Alcohol: Roughly 31 percent of the total traffic-related fatalities can be attributed to alcohol and drunk driving. That’s just over 10,000 fatalities year after year.
- Safety Belts: Although many U.S. drivers and passengers wear seat belts (around 87 percent), that is still a much lower percentage than many other countries. Another 9,500 deaths can be attributed to lack of proper restraints.
Out of all the countries researched, Belgium was the second-worst overall performer. Belgium had a fatality rate nearly two-thirds lower than the U.S. If we were to match Sweden, the safest country studied, we’d see nearly 24,000 fewer traffic-related fatalities per year.