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The statistics are shocking. Latin America and the Caribbean have the countries with the number one (Dominican Republic) and number three (Venezuela) highest number of traffic deaths per capita in the world. Only Thailand comes close, with 38.1 traffic deaths in 2010 for every 100,000 citizens, placing it second in these grim rankings. It's difficult to know the causes of these high rates of automobile deaths in the region, though presumably poor traffic enforcement, insufficient infrastructure and the tendency of informal buses and public transportation to pack in riders could be part of the cause. Clearly, the safest countries to get behind the wheel are Sweden and Iceland. In the former, we have to assume their road safety is linked to more than just driving solid Volvos and Saabs.

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