A recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) names the United States as the country with the highest rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents among 20 developed countries with similar populations. This includes incidents like an Ocala fatal car crash. What puts the U.S. in this unenviable position is the more than 32,000 annual car crash deaths – about 90 a day. More than 2 million others are injured.
At 10.3 deaths per 100,000 residents, the U.S. is significantly ahead of runner-up Belgium, which has 6.5 deaths per 100,000. The U.S. also showed the least improvement in reducing traffic deaths from 2000-2013.
Florida exceeds the national average, with a fatality rate of 13.6 per 100,000 in 2009. In that same year, more than 1,200 people were killed on northern Florida roads, including those involved in an Ocala fatal car crash.
Why So High?
Two major contributing factors to the fatality rate are drunk driving and low seatbelt usage. Namely, 31 percent of fatalities involved drunk driving; 45 percent of passengers who were killed in 2013 failed to wear seatbelts.
Speeding, meanwhile, was involved in 29 percent of traffic deaths.
If It Happens to You
What should you do if you are involved in a car accident? There are a few things you should do immediately:
- Stay at the scene. You could face serious charges if you leave the scene of an accident, especially if injuries have occurred.
- Check on all who were involved. Call for medical help if anyone is injured. Don’t attempt to move anyone who is unconscious or has neck or back pain.
- Call the police. It is very important to get an accident report if there are injuries or property damage.
- Exchange information. Get personal information – names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance information, and license plate numbers – from all drivers involved.
- Take pictures. This could prove invaluable later on if you end up going to court.
If you have been injured, it is very important to seek medical help immediately and contact an attorney. Any delay could lead to less compensation down the road. An attorney can walk you through the complicated legal labyrinth, defend your rights, and get you the maximum compensation allowed by law.
Although the United States has seen a significant reduction in traffic fatalities in recent years, there is still a lot of work to do to prevent an Ocala fatal car crash. Be a careful, cautious driver. Don’t drink and drive. Wear a seatbelt at all times. Obey speed limits. Come home to your family safely.