The High Cost of Motor Vehicle Crashes

A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) put a price tag on the cost of motor vehicle collisions in this country.

In an effort to quantify the economic and social value of motor vehicle accidents, NHTSA looked at accident figures from 2010. The dollar values were staggering. Points of the report include:

  • In 2010, there were 3.9 million non-fatal injuries and almost 33,000 fatal injuries.
  • The tabulated economic costs of the injuries, fatalities and 24 million damaged vehicles is $277 billion. This is more than $800 for every person in the United States.
  • Adding in actuarial figures for quality of life and societal harm, the cost of motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2010 is $871 billion. The economic cost of one fatality over a lifetime was set at $1.4 million.

Notes U.S. Secretary Anthony Foxx, "No amount of money can replace the life of a loved one, or stem the suffering associated with motor vehicle crashes.” The NHTSA report identifies leading factors contributing to rising motor vehicle fatality figures. Just a few of those factors include:

  • Distracted driving: Collisions involving distraction contributed to 17 percent of accidents in 2010. Distracted driving caused economic losses of $46 billion.
  • Speeding: At a cost of $59 billion, excessive speed contributed to 21 percent of accidents in 2010.
  • Alcohol-related crashes: Causing $49 billion in economic losses, alcohol-related collisions represented 18 percent of the total losses that year.

NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman states "We want Americans to live long and productive lives, but vehicle crashes all too often make that impossible.”

The value of a human life or a healthy body cannot be underestimated. If a loved one is killed through the negligence of others in Winston Salem, speak with an experienced injury attorney.

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