Fatality rate data released by CDC in report

Despite significant progress in lowering the fatality rates for car accidents in West Virginia and across the U.S., a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, establishes that much work needs to be done. The report, released on July 6, compares the U.S. fatality rates to those of 19 other wealthy countries, including the UK, Sweden, Japan and others.

The CDC reports that between 2000 and 2013, the U.S. had a reduction in its rate of traffic fatalities per capita of 31 percent. Nonetheless, the 19 comparison countries had reductions in their fatality rates per capita averaging 56 percent between the same years. In Spain, the rate was reduced by 75.1 percent, and it dropped by 63.5 percent in Denmark.

The agency reports that in 2013 alone, in excess of 32,000 deaths were caused by traffic accidents in the U.S., which is equivalent to 90 deaths happening each day. The U.S. is in first place for the rate of motor vehicle accident fatalities per 100,000 people. It is in second place for the number of deaths attributed to alcohol use with Canada in first place. The agency believes the high fatality rate in the U.S. is due to a combination of factors, including inconsistent seat belt use, speeding and alcohol use.

Negligent driving is the cause of many fatal accidents, and when a person dies in such an accident, his or her family may want to file a wrongful death claim against the driver who caused the wreck. Doing so may help the family to hold the driver accountable for his or her wrongful actions. It may also help by allowing the family to recover compensation to make up for their expenses and financial losses associated with the death of their loved one.

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