While it is clear that motor vehicle accidents have many consequences, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) quantified the monetary and societal impact of motor vehicle accidents, and the results are staggering. The study was based data from 2010, when there were 32,999 fatalities, 3.9 million non-fatal injuries, and 24 million damaged vehicles.
The price tag associated with the crashes is a whopping $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm, including $277 billion in economic costs, or close to $900 for each person living in the United States in 2010, and $594 billion in harm from loss of life, pain and decreased quality of life caused by injuries.
Some of the report’s key findings include:
- Drunk Driving: Alcohol-related crashes accounted for 18 percent of the economic loss attributable to motor vehicle accidents. The cost was $49 billion, or $158 per person in the U.S., with a total cost of $199 billion or 23 percent of the overall societal harm when lost quality of life is factored in.
- Speeding: Excessive speed accounted for 21 percent of the economic loss, or $59 billion, which is $191 per person in the U.S. The total cost was $210 billion or 24 percent of the overall societal harm when lost quality of life is factored in.
- Distracted Driving: Crashes involving distracted driving accounted for 17 percent of the economic loss, or $46 billion, which amounts to $148 per person in the U.S. Including lost quality of life, the cost was $129 billion, or 15 percent of the overall societal harm.
- Pedestrians and Bicyclists: Accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists accounted for 7 percent of the economic loss, or $19 billion. The total cost was $90 billion or 10 percent of the overall societal harm, including lost quality of life.
- Seatbelts: Seatbelt use saved $69 billion in medical care, lost productivity, and other injury-related costs. Preventable injuries and fatalities accounted for five percent of the economic loss from motor vehicle crashes, or $14 billion. When lost quality of life is factored in, failure to wear seatbelts cost $72 billion, or eight percent of the overall societal harm.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is important for you to minimize your monetary losses as well as any physical impact. Contact the experienced Connecticut personal injury attorneys at The Woolf Law Firm, LLC, for expert legal advice.