Blog

Why U.S. Car Accident Death Rate Exceeds Europe's

caraccidentparamedics7.jpg

Cars are much safer than they used to be. They have air bags, crumple zones, anti-lock brakes and seat belts. Despite this, death rates the United States because of car accidents are far higher than in the rest of the developed world. What's going on? A recent article in the Economist provides some answers.

In 2013, one in 100 licensed drivers was injured in the U.S. For every billion miles driven, 11 people are killed. These are averages, and many states are as safe as European countries when it comes to driving. Some of the most densely populated states - New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts - have low accident and death rates. In sparsely populated states like Wyoming, the traffic accident rate exceeds that of all sub-Saharan Africa. Granted, there are fewer vehicles in Africa, but how can one U.S. state exceed the accident rate on most of one continent?

According to the Wyoming Highway Patrol, one reason is that people refuse to wear seat belts. In parts of the U.S. where devotion to ideals of personal freedom remains high, such as Wyoming and Texas, wearing a seat belt is akin to letting the government dictate behavior. In many states, driving while intoxicated is viewed as a youthful indiscretion or something that everyone does. In other states, the law actually encourages drinking and driving. In Louisiana, for example, drivers can pull into drive-through daiquiri stores. If that is not an incentive to drive drunk, what is?

In most European countries, there is zero tolerance for drinking and driving at any level. Even a .01 blood alcohol content (BAC) can result in an arrest. Compare this with the .08 BAC threshold in the United States, below which there is seldom any legal consequence for drinking and driving.

Another type of state law, this one regarding the use of motorcycle helmets, also contributes to high death rates in the U.S. Thirty-one states do not require adult bikers to wear helmets, including Texas. As a result, the number of motorcyclists who die each year has more than doubled since the late 1990s.

The biggest difference between the U.S. and other first-world countries, according to some experts, is that Sun Belt cities such as Houston, Tampa and Atlanta have many roadways designed like freeways - multilane roads with high speeds that still have crosswalks, stop signs and traffic lights like any other city. However, combining highway speeds with city traffic has proven fatal in many places and contributes to the high rate of traffic fatalities in the United States.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Get Your Free Case Review 713.587.9668

Let Us Help You Today! Request a Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

More Success Stories