United States Had Highest Motor Vehicle Crash Mortality Rate in 2019

Car accident
Elevated view of broken cars after accident.
Higher death rate in 2019 compared with other high-income countries; increase in death rate seen in U.S. from 2015 to 2019

HealthDay News — The United States has higher population-based, distance-based, and vehicle-based motor vehicle crash death rates compared with other high-income countries, according to research published in the July 1 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Merissa A. Yellman, M.P.H., and Erin K. Sauber-Schatz, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, measured progress in reducing motor vehicle crash deaths by calculating population-based, distance-based, and vehicle-based death rates in 2015 and 2019 for the United States and 28 other high-income countries.

The researchers found that in 2019, the United States had the highest population-based death rate (11.1 per 100,000 population) among the 29 high-income countries, which was 2.3 times the average rate of the other 28 countries (4.8 per 100,000 population). The 2019 U.S. distance-based death rate was higher than the average rate among 20 other countries (1.11 versus 0.92 per 100 million vehicle miles travelled). Furthermore, the U.S. vehicle-based death rate was higher than in 27 other high-income countries (1.21 versus 0.78 per 10,000 registered vehicles). From 2015 to 2019, the population-based death rate increased 0.1 percent in the United States, whereas the average change in 27 other high-income countries was −10.4 percent.

“Although various U.S. cities and communities have committed to a goal of zero crash deaths and injury reductions, widespread multisectoral commitment and collaborative action toward achieving zero deaths are needed for the United States to make significant improvements,” the authors write.

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