Poorer countries suffer more fatal car accidents

Driving is such an everyday part of our lives, we often forget how potentially dangerous it can be. The Association for Safe International Road Travel says that traffic accidents are the ninth-leading cause of death on Earth.

Traffic fatalities happen everywhere, including here in Tampa. But according to WFTS-TV, the vast majority of fatal crashes occur in the Third World, with the U.S. being among the safest countries in the world as far as traffic deaths are concerned.

One might think that lax traffic safety laws are to blame, but the data does not support that, according to the Association. The group argues that there is no connection between lower speed limits and fewer deadly crashes.

Instead, the group suspects four major culprits: poor infrastructure, dangerous cars, lack of seatbelt use and drunk driving.

WFTS listed the 42 most dangerous countries to drive in. The Dominican Republic was first, with 41.7 traffic deaths per 100,000 people. Other countries on the list include Thailand, South Africa, Iran, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia and China.

Here in Tampa, we enjoy much safer streets and highways — most of the time. But we still must deal with speeders, distracted drivers, drunk drivers and everyone else who can put our safety and lives in serious jeopardy. Car crashes happen all the time and, sadly, some victims do not survive.

When that happens, their loved ones are often saddled with serious debts, such as medical bills, funeral costs and lost future earnings. The person who should have to pay these costs is the person responsible for the crash.

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