For people who are 34 years old and younger -- excluding newborns under the age of one -- car accidents take more lives than anything else. Tens of thousands of people lose their lives every year.
Some have argued that we tolerate too many deaths. The toll on the country is horrific, yet everyone keeps driving.
Is Enough Being Done?
Part of the problem, they argue, is that the United States doesn't do enough to curb the epidemic. For example, traffic safety research sees less funding year in and year out than dental research. This isn't to say that dental health isn't a good thing, but 50,000 people aren't going to die from dental problems in 2017.
One example that backs this notion up is that Canada has worked hard to cut back on fatalities. In 1979, a total of 5,933 people died. By 2004, this had fallen to 2,875. That's an incredible reduction. Canada obviously has a smaller population, but the United States didn't see nearly the same percentage in reduction. In 1980, there were 51,091 traffic deaths. It did fall by 2004, but only to 42,836. If the U.S. had mirrored what happened in Canada, there should have been only 25,500 deaths.
Don't Call Them Accidents
Perhaps the way that we categorize the fatal crashes is part of the reason that people accept them. We just call them accidents, as if they are an unavoidable risk, something unfortunate that just happens. They're tragic, but we know accidents are part of life.
The reality, some have said, is that deadly accidents are more of a public health crisis than anything. Imagine if 40,000 people died from a rare strain of the flu. People would be up in arms to find a cure. They'd be terrified. Car accidents will take that many lives, but people will just shrug and move on.
As long as car accident fatalities remain high, it's important for family members who have lost loved ones to know their rights to compensation.
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