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Car accident rates throughout the country compared to others

A July 6 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demonstrated that in Colorado and throughout the country, people face a higher likelihood of dying in a motor vehicle accident than people who live in 19 other high-income countries. Canada, the United Kingdom, Austria, Sweden and Japan were among the other countries studied. The CDC used figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Health Organization for the years 2000-2013 to reach their conclusions.

Over a 13-year period, per capita deaths from motor vehicle accidents dropped 31 percent. However, in other countries, deaths dropped an average of 56 percent, and in some countries, the rate was higher. Had the rate in the U.S. matched the average, there would have been 18,000 fewer deaths.

The report attributed the high death rate to a number of factors including the lack of seat belt use, speeding and drunk driving. In fact, the U.S. was second only to Canada in alcohol-related accidents with 31 percent of its accidents naming alcohol as a factor. Compliance in seat belt usage was particularly low among children, and it was estimated that an additional 3,000 lives could have been saved by seat belts. Other suggestions for reducing the rate of accidents included avoiding driving while distracted and avoiding drugs, alcohol and speeding.

People who are injured in a car accident might think that they will receive compensation from the insurance company of the driver responsible, but this is not always the case. The offer from an insurance company might not be enough to cover the cost of treating the devastating injuries that can result from such an accident. Instead, it might be necessary to file a lawsuit. If the driver was negligent, even if there are no successful criminal charges, a civil suit might recover some costs.

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