America has a notoriously bad road safety record with an estimated 38,680 fatalities in 2020 among a population of 331 million. By comparison, the UK, which has a population of 67 million recorded 1,390 road deaths in the 12 months ending in June last year.
However, a slow reduction in road fatalities has coincided with an alarming rise in gun homicides which, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, rose by 33.4 per cent in 2020.
The 19,384 gun murders that year represented the highest number since 1968.
This sharp increase in gun deaths has coincided with a surge in gun ownership in the US with 7.5 million Americans – nearly three per cent of the population – buying weapons for the first time during the pandemic between January and April 2021.
It meant that five million children became exposed to household firearms.