Street Safety in American Falls Behind Other Countries

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American streets aren't as safe as they could be, but Pennsylvania's are improving

As a well-developed nation, the United States' street safety ratings should be comparable to other nations of similar scale.

Unfortunately, we're trailing behind.

According to the International Transport Forum's 2012 study of 36 semi- and fully developed countries' traffic fatalities, America stands at 10.7 deaths per 100,000 people. To put that into perspective, the United Kingdom is the street safety leader with 2.8 deaths per 100,000 people, and Cambodia takes up the rear with around 14 deaths per 100,000.

Though the statistic for traffic fatalities in the U.S. has decreased 20 percent from 2000 to 2012, it's minimal in comparison to other countries. The United Kingdom sliced their fatality rate in half, while frontrunners Denmark, Spain, and Portugal were able to reduce theirs by at least 65 percent during the same period.

Some of the factors that contributed to these countries' large decreases in traffic fatalities were strictly enforced 20 mph zones in urban areas, an emphasis on pedestrian and cyclist friendly streets, and an overall shift in focus from "making driving safer with enhanced technology in cars" to cracking down on the drivers' behavior.

How is Pennsylvania measuring up?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's statistics from 2012, Pennsylvania has 10.3 traffic deaths per 100,000 people, just under the national figure.

Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation also reported some more favorable car accident statistics from 2013:

  • There were 102 fewer fatalities in 2013 than in 2012.
  • Injuries of all severities totaled 83,089 in 2013, nearly 4,000 less than in 2012.
  • The estimated total economic cost due to traffic crashes was over $8 million less in 2013.

Still, 340 reportable traffic crashes occurred each day, equating to 124,149 total accidents in the state.

Were You a Victim of a Car Accident?

Whether it's a fender-bender, a T-bone crash, or a head-on collision, sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to answer the question of why you were injured in an accident. The only answer is how we can make it better and get you back to living your life. It's important to know what to do after an accident and it's even more important to have all of your questions answered so you can move forward.

“Street Safety Lags in America.” Urban Milwaukee. Sept. 18, 2014.
“General Statistics.” Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 2012.