U.S. Street Safety Compares Poorly to Other Developed Countries

A new report from the International Transportation Forum (ITF) shows America's shortcomings on street safety compared to its peer nations.
August 23, 2014, 1pm PDT | Maayan Dembo | @DJ_Mayjahn
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As Angie Schmitt of Streetsblog reports, "America’s street safety record puts it near the bottom of the ITF’s ranking of 35 countries, far behind most other developed nations." Compared to the United Kingdoms traffic fatality rate (2.8 per 100,000), the United States is nearly four times higher (10.7), and almost doubles Canada's (5.8). As Schmitt writes, to "put that in perspective, if America had the same traffic fatality rate as the U.K., around 25,000 fewer people would be killed every year."

Indeed, the ITF wrote how American safety measures in the past focused on mandating airbags and seat belt usage and reducing drunk driving rates. In the meantime, European nations reduce traffic deaths by prioritizing the safety of other road users, namely pedestrians and cyclists, as opposed to the convenience of driving. The ITF found that "speed reduction seems to be especially important in reducing pedestrian and cyclist fatalities, where American performance has been particularly poor compared to peer nations. In the U.S., pedestrians accounted for a much greater share of road fatalities in 2012 (29 percent) than in 2000 (18 percent)."

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Published on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 in Streetsblog USA
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