Americans seem to spend more on road transportation, but don’t necessarily drive on the safest roads in the world.According to a new report by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the United States has a per capita accident fatality rate that is approximately 3 times greater than the rates in The Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Sweden.
Researchers analyzed fatality statistics, and tried to determine why there was such a huge disparity between the numbers in the United States as compared those in Europe.They found that there are a number of factors that contribute to a higher U.S. accident fatality rate.
These include much more relaxed laws regarding seatbelt use, speeding, and drunk driving enforcement.When researchers analyzed road safety laws in both the United States and European countries, they found that the U.S. was definitely behind in the types of laws most likely to help prevent accidents.
For instance, permissible blood alcohol levels here are much higher than in some European countries.In addition, Americans tend to have lower rates of seatbelt usage compared to the European countries in the study.Speeding rates are also much higher here, and drivers in the U.S. drive much faster than motorists in Europe.
Some believe that European countries have fewer accident fatality numbers because they have lower populations.The fact is that even when you compare fatalities per million people, the United States does worse.The fatality rate per million people is about 124, compared to an average rate of about 40 fatalities per million people in the other countries.
The researchers found that another major factor was that Americans simply drive a lot more than their European counterparts.This country generally does not have a culture that promotes walking or bicycling as efficient ways of getting around.The United States suffers from an auto-centric culture, and motorists here simply drive much more than people in other countries.
Also, the researchers found that Americans drive much more on urban roads, which accounted for approximately 12,500 fatalities in 2009.That was more than one third of the total annual fatality numbers that year.
Our Atlanta motor vehicle accident attorneys believe that we can improve our accident and fatality rates if we commit to passing and enforcing the laws designed to make roadways safer.