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Motor Vehicle Deaths in the U.S.

U.S. had the highest rate of motor vehicle fatalities among the 20 wealthiest nations in the world.

U.S. had the second highest rate of deaths involving drunk driving

U.S. had the third worst rate of seat belt use

Reducing motor vehicle crash deaths was one of the great public health achievements of the late 20th century. However, more than 32,000 people are killed and 2 million are injured each year from motor vehicle crashes. In 2013, the US crash death rate was more than twice the average of other high-income countries. 

In the US, front seat belt use was lower than in almost all other comparison countries. One in 3 crash deaths in the US involved drunk driving, and almost 1 in 3 involved speeding. Lower death rates in other high-income countries and a high percentage of risk factors in the US suggest that we can make more progress in reducing crash deaths.

Drivers and passengers can:

  • Drive without distractions (such as using a cell phone or texting).
  • Use a seat belt in every seat, on every trip, no matter how short.
  • Make sure children are always properly buckled in the back seat in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their age, height, and weight.
  • Choose not to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and help others do the same.
  • Obey speed limits.

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