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Motor Vehicle Crashes Cost Billions Each Year

Written by Ankin Law Office

Not only do car accidents and other motor vehicle accidents carry a significant physical and emotional cost in terms of injuries and deaths, but they also cost carry a hefty financial cost as well. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle accidents cost Americans $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm, including $277 billion in economic costs and $594 billion in harm from the loss of life and the pain and decreased quality of life due to injuries.

“No amount of money can replace the life of a loved one, or stem the suffering associated with motor vehicle crashes,” said U.S. Secretary Anthony Foxx in a press release. “While the economic and societal costs of crashes are staggering, today’s report clearly demonstrates that investments in safety are worth every penny used to reduce the frequency and severity of these tragic events.”

Not only does the NHTSA’s new study, The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010 highlight the financial and societal cost of car accidents, but it also highlights several behavioral factors that contribute to the “huge price-tag of roadway crashes,” including the following key findings:

  • Drunk Driving: Alcohol-related accidents accounted for 18 percent of the total economic loss, costing the nation $49 billion – an average cost of $158 for every person in the U.S. When considering lost quality of life, alcohol-related crashes were responsible for $199 billion – or 23 percent – of the overall societal harm caused by motor vehicle crashes. Over 90 percent of these costs occurred in crashes involving a drunk driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
  • Speeding: Speeding accidents accounted for 21 percent of the total economic loss, costing the nation $59 billion in 2010 – an average cost of $191 for every person in the U.S. When considering lost quality of life, speeding accidents were responsible for $210 billion – or 24 percent – of the overall societal harm caused by motor vehicle crashes.
  • Distraction: Distracted driving accidents accounted for 17 percent of the total economic loss, costing the nation $46 billion in 2010 – an average cost of $148 for every person in the U.S. When considering lost quality of life, distracted driving accidents were responsible for $129 billion – or 15 percent – of the overall societal harm caused by motor vehicle crashes.
  • Pedestrians and Bicyclists: Pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents accounted for 7 percent of the total economic loss, costing the nation $19 billion in 2010. When considering lost quality of life, pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents were responsible for $90 billion – or 10 percent – of the overall societal harm caused by motor vehicle crashes.
  • Seatbelts: Seatbelt use prevented $69 billion in medical care, lost productivity, and other injury related costs. Conversely, preventable fatalities and injuries to unrestrained drivers and passengers accounted for 5 percent of the total economic loss and cost the nation $14 billion in 2010. When considering lost quality of life, failure to wear seatbelts caused $72 billion – or 8 percent – of the overall societal harm caused by motor vehicle crashes.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

The Chicago car accident lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC are dedicated to keeping Illinois roads safe and helping the victims of car accidents and other motor vehicle crashes obtain maximum compensation for their injuries and damages. If you were in an auto accident in or around Chicago, contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our car accident attorneys.

Categories: Auto Accidents