While the roads in Connecticut and other U.S. states may not be as dangerous as they were a decade ago, improvements in road safety have been far more pronounced in other developed nations according to a July 6 report from the Centers for Disease Control. American road fatalities have fallen by 31 percent in the last 13 years, but death rates plummeted by an average of 56 percent in 19 other developed countries during those same years. Road fatalities in Spain plummeted by more than 75 percent.
The CDC researchers relied on accident data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Health Organization compiled between 2000 and 2013. Fatal accidents involving motorists, cyclists and pedestrians were studied. According to the CDC, about 18,000 American lives could have been saved if fatalities in the United States had fallen by as much as they did in countries like Japan, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Of the countries studied, only drivers in Austria and Belgium were less likely to fasten their seat belts than their American counterparts, and only Canada had a higher percentage of alcohol-related fatal accidents. The CDC researchers concluded that reducing permitted BAC levels and strictly enforcing drunk driving laws could have a significant impact on road fatality rates. The report also pointed out that about 3,000 lives could be saved each year if American drivers and their passengers buckled up.
Those who lose their lives in automobile accidents often leave their dependent family members with medical bills and an uncertain future. Making ends meet for grieving families can be extremely difficult when a breadwinner’s income is lost, and expenses like funeral costs may add to their financial stress. When individuals lose their lives due to the reckless actions of others, personal injury attorneys may initiate wrongful death lawsuits seeking compensation for the expenses and lost income of their dependent family members.