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Car Accidents Are Rising—And The U.S. Stands As A Global Outlier


On November 27th, 2022, The New York Times published a comprehensive analysis of the “exceptionally American problem of rising roadway deaths.” While other high-income nations have made significant progress on highway safety, the United States stands as an outlier. Alarmingly, serious and fatal car crashes are once again on the rise in our country. Here, our Las Vegas car accident lawyer discusses the report from The New York Times in more detail.

 The Problem: 30 Years Ago the U.S. Was Average in Highway Safety, It is Now One of the Worst

In the early 1990s, the United States had a nationwide motor vehicle accident fatality rate of 150 per 1 million people. The number was about average among the 30 countries in the OECD. In 2021, the U.S. auto accident fatality rate was about 140 per 1 million—meaning little progress has been made over the last three decades.

Our country stands as an outlier among the OECD. It is now the worst-performing country for highway safety. Every other OECD country has seen significant declines in its auto accident fatality rate. Even more alarming, the U.S. auto accident fatality rate has actually increased since 2010. All while most other OECD countries continue to make improvements.

 Car Accident Fatalities Dropped Globally During the Pandemic—But Not in the United States

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world in early 2020, there was a sharp decline in driving. Many people expected to see a corresponding drop in motor vehicle accident deaths—and that is exactly what occurred in most countries. However, it is not what happened in the United States. Driving did decline, but the number of car accident deaths actually went up.

In 27 of the 30 OECD countries surveyed by The New York Times, roadway deaths went down during the pandemic. However, in three countries, the number of deaths actually increased. Those being the United States, Switzerland, and Ireland. With a 5 percent increase in total traffic deaths since 2020, the U.S. has performed the worst among OECD countries on highway safety.

More Research is Needed Into Exactly What is Going Wrong On Our Roadways

Highway safety officials suspect that the U.S. has higher rates of risky behavior by drivers than other high-income countries. Potential causes of the American problem of rising roadway deaths include:

  • Speeding;
  • Distracted driving; and
  • Intoxicated driving.

It is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that our streets and highways are as safe as possible for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.

Contact Our Las Vegas Auto Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation

At Cameron Law, our auto accident lawyer is an experienced and effective advocate for injured victims. If you or your family member were hurt in a motor vehicle collision, we can help. Contact our firm today to set up your no-cost, no commitment case review. From our Las Vegas office, we represent injured victims in Clark County and throughout Southern Nevada.


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