It may surprise many Americans to learn that U.S. traffic fatality statistics are much higher than those in other developed nations. Why is this, and what can drivers do to stay safe on the roads of America?
By understanding the common causes of car accidents, people can reduce their chances of being injured while driving, biking or walking on the Florida roads (statistically proven to be among the most dangerous for each of these activities).
After any auto accident, injury victims have the legal right to be compensated for their financial losses. A West Palm Beach car accident attorney can help guide victims through the process of obtaining compensation.
The Statistics on United States Traffic Fatality Rates
The New York Times reports that the United States has become a "disturbing outlier" among trends of traffic fatality rates in developed nations worldwide. In the 1990s, fatality rates in America were approximately ten percent less than those in Canada and Australia (two comparable developed nations with long stretches of open road). As of 2015, the United States has a traffic fatality rate that is approximately 40 percent higher than either Canada's or Australia's. Even Slovenia now has a lower traffic fatality rate than America. (Slovenia had a traffic fatality rate five times that of America in the 1990s.)
How has America become such an outlier in the prevention of traffic-related deaths? One significant difference is the evidence-based campaigns on which other countries have embarked in order to reduce the number of traffic accidents. Such programs have dramatically reduced traffic fatality rates in those countries by identifying and addressing specific causes of car accidents. The fatality rate in America has fallen somewhat, due in large part to new manufacturing requirements that have put safer vehicles on the road. But the rate is nowhere near the drop in accidents that has been observed in other parts of the world.
What Florida Drivers Can Do To Promote Road Safety
While an individual driver may not be able to make the impact of a nationwide campaign, he or she can still make a difference in road safety. By accepting personal responsibility for safe driving habits, drivers can reduce their chances of being involved in an accident. This will also reduce the likelihood that a driver will face the consequences of negligent driving. These can include traffic citations, increased insurance premiums, civil lawsuits, and suspension of a driver's license.
When another driver's negligence causes a car accident, it is important that he or she be held accountable for irresponsible or reckless behavior. This promotes changes in personal driving habits which can affect overall safety on the roads. Violations of Florida traffic statutes can lead an insurance company or jury to find that a driver was negligent. For example: Section 316.183 of the Florida Statutes prohibits drivers from traveling at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions, with regard for actual and potential hazards. The statute also requires drivers to control their speed as necessary in order to avoid a collision.
There are many causes of auto accidents. A West Palm Beach car accident attorney can help you determine the causes of your accident in order to identify who might be legally obligated to compensate your injuries.