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How Do Car Crash Fatalities Compare with the U.S. and Other Countries?

Even though the United States is a wealthy nation and world leader, our country has more car accident fatalities than other high-income nations.

Car Crash Fatalities Based on CDC Study

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report less than a year ago based on a study that compared car crash deaths for the U.S. with other high-income countries. It used comparisons between the years 2013 and 2000. Other units of comparison were: per 100,000 population, per 10,000 registered vehicles, and per 100 million miles traveled.

Countries compared in the study were the United Kingdom, Japan, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, New Zealand and Canada, to name a few.

Here is what the study found:

  • In 2013, the U.S. motor vehicle crash death rate decreased 31 percent from the rate in 2000.
  • Among the other 19 comparison high-income countries, motor vehicle crash death rates decreased at an average of 56% during the same time period.
  • The U.S. had the highest rate of crash deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles.
  • The U.S. had the highest rate of crash deaths per 100,000 population.
  • The U.S. had the fifth highest rate of crash deaths per 100 million miles traveled.

Seat Belt Use

Our nation also ranked number 18 out of 20 for front seat belt use and ranked 13 out of 18 for rear seatbelt use. The U.S. was the third lowest for seatbelt use.

Alcohol-impaired Driving

Only Canada scored worse than the United States for alcohol impaired driving. Crash deaths involving alcohol-impaired driving in Canada were 33.6 percent, and in the U.S. they were 31 percent. Israel was the lowest at 3.2 percent and the mean was 19.1 percent.


Speeding is another major cause of car crash deaths. Speeding was a factor in 29 percent of U.S. vehicle crash deaths. The lowest percentages were for the United Kingdom and Ireland at 15 percent, and Finland had the highest percentage at 42 percent. The U.S. ranked eighth in deaths that involved speeding.

Get Legal Help for Serious Car Accident Injuries

Injuries and car crash deaths are significant concerns, and often another party is at fault. If you or a loved one were involved in a serious car accident, get a legal opinion as soon as possible. Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP has more than 60 years of personal injury experience, and we can protect your rights.

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