According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report, the United States (U.S.) has the highest vehicle crash death rate of 19 high-income nations, such as Belgium, Slovenia, Spain and France. In 2000, each of those countries had a death rate of 14 per every 100,000 people. The U.S. rate decreased 31%, however this paled in comparison to the 59% decrease of other comparable countries. The greatest reduction was seen in Spain with a decrease of 75% from 2000 to 2013; Slovenia also reduced their rate by 62%.
In 2013, the U.S. had the highest death rate, remaining in the double digits at 10.3 per 100,000 while other nations significantly reduced their rates. Belgium remained at second highest, however their rate significantly lower at 6.5 per 100,000. The year 2013 also saw the loss of 33,000 U.S. lives year due to motor vehicle related crashes. The nearly 33,000 people who died in car crashes in 2013 is almost 10,000 more than all of the vehicle-related deaths in all comparable 19 countries, while the U.S. population does not amount to the total population of those countries. If the U.S. was able to maintain the same death rate as Belgium, approximately 12,000 lives would have been saved that year and $140 million in medical expenses avoided.
The CDC’s report also looked into the rate of crash deaths per 10,000 registered cars and found the rate in the U.S. was almost double the average of other countries. National seatbelt data ranked the U.S. at 18 of 20 for front seatbelt use and 13 of 18 for rear seatbelt use. The U.S. also reported the highest rate of alcohol impaired driving deaths at (31%) and the highest percentage of crash deaths involving speeding (29%). The report states that the U.S. has made a significant amount of progress; however car crashes remain a significant issue.