The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a report stating that the United States is behind on passing laws and regulations to reduce the number of automobile accident fatalities in our country.
According to the recently published WHO Global Status Report, the United States ranks with Indonesia and Nigeria as the countries which routinely fail to enact regulations to keep drivers and passengers safe. According to WHO researchers, lower speed limits and tougher laws against drunk driving are the top ways the United States could reduce auto accident deaths. Other suggestions to reduce automobile fatalities in the U.S. include better laws to require motorcycle riders to wear helmets, restricted use of cell phones by drivers, and tougher seatbelt and child restraint requirements.
The WHO says that lower traffic speeds will not only reduce fatalities, but will also reduce harmful emissions which are linked to pollution and respiratory problems. They suggest that average speeds should be even lower in areas with vulnerable populations, such as streets near schools, residential areas, and parks.
According to this WHO report, drunk driving is an especially high risk and the report suggests that current blood alcohol limits for U.S. drivers may be too high. The researchers determined that a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.04 g/dl greatly increases the likelihood of a car crash. In the United States, the legal limit for BAC is 0.08 g/dl.
In Florida between the years of 2000 and 2009, there were 31,256 deaths attributed to auto accidents, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. This means an average of 7 deaths every day. Most of these fatal crashes occurred on two-lane highways, and up to 40% of all auto accident fatalities can be attributed to drunk or impaired driving. In 2009, up to 917 of the people who died in Florida car crashes were not wearing a seatbelt.
Not only to fatal car accidents cost Floridians an overwhelmingly high loss of life, but they also cost this state billions of dollars. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that in 2005, Florida lost roughly $40 million in medical costs due to auto accident deaths and up to $3.12 billion in lost work costs. This totals a staggering $3.16 billion lost in one year to auto accident deaths in Florida alone.
While it is true that sometimes car crashes are simply accidents, it is also true that negligence plays a role in far too many auto accident injuries and deaths. In Florida, injured motorists and grieving families trust our attorneys to help them recover justice after another’s negligence on the road causes them to suffer. To learn more about auto accident lawsuits in Florida, please contact us to schedule a free and confidential legal consultation.