Would you believe that the economic costs of motor vehicle crashes are nearly $900 per person living in the U.S.?
According to a recent study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents in the U.S. result in $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm each year. That includes $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.
The study, titled The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010 cites several behavioral factors that contribute to the roadway crashes based on 32,999 fatalities, 3.9 million non-fatal injuries and 24 million damaged vehicles that took place in 2010. Drunk driving was the cause of 18 percent of the total economic loss due to motor vehicle crashes while crashes involving a speeding vehicle accounted for 21 percent. Distracted driving was associated with 17 percent of the total economic loss and crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists accounted for seven percent. The study also revealed that seatbelt use prevented $69 billion in medical care, lost productivity and other injury related costs.
“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. “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.”