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Seat belts, speed and traffic safety in Mississippi

A report from the CDC analyzed data from WHO and the OECD from 2000-2013 and found that the United States has the highest rate of car accident deaths among wealthy nations. In 2013, there were roughly 90 fatalities each day, which equated to over 32,000 for the entire year. The data takes into account accidents involving bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.

Although traffic deaths have declined since 2000, that decline still lags behind other countries. In the United States, there was a 31 percent decline compared to an average of 56 percent among 19 other wealthy nations. Spain had a reduction of 75.1 percent in that same time period while Denmark saw a decline of 63.5 percent. In addition to leading in deaths per year, the United States was also tops in deaths per 100,000 people and per 100,000 vehicles.

Driving at high rates of speed, driving while impaired and inconsistent seat belt use were three reasons why the CDC believes the U.S. crash death numbers are so high. In fact, the United States was third-worst when it came to seat belt use, and the problem exists with both adults and children. In 2013, 38 percent of accident victims under 12 were not wearing a seat belt at the time. The CDC believes that 3,000 lives could be saved annually if seat belts were worn at all times.

After a car accident, serious injury or death is possible. Family members of those killed in a wreck may take legal action for wrongful death. Compensation may be available for lost future earnings, final expenses and any medical costs that may have been incurred prior to passing. The estate of the other driver may be responsible for costs if he or she also passes in an accident he or she caused.

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