Injuries and medical care associated with motor vehicle accidents greatly affect the economy, with a price of just under $100 billion per year. That averages out to about $500 a year for each licensed driver in the United States. The cost of direct medical care alone accounts for $17 billion of the total. The statistics show a shockingly high number of crashes, injuries and deaths, most of which are preventable.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 10 seconds, someone in the United States is treated in an emergency department for crash-related injuries. Not only is the number of total deaths from accidents staggering, but the cost is outrageous, as well.
Injury Rates and Costs
The highest injuries from both fatal and nonfatal accidents stem from people riding in cars and light trucks, at a cost of $70 billion a year. Bicyclists averaged the lowest cost, at around $5 billion. More men were killed or injured in accidents than women, and injuries and deaths among the men represented $74 billion of all costs, or 74 percent.
Teens and young adults combined made up 28 percent of all motor vehicle injuries, both fatal and nonfatal, as well as 31 percent of the costs, equally $31 billion. What is astounding is that these people represented only 14 percent of the total U.S. population.
Because motorcyclists suffer more severe injuries than car and truck drivers, they only made up 6 percent of fatalities but 12 percent of the costs. Likewise, pedestrians made up 5 percent of all injuries but 10 percent of total costs.
The news isn’t all bad. The CDC’s Injury Center has been investigating different methods of reducing the number of these preventable accidents. Graduated driver licensing programs, created to allow new teen drivers to gain experience in low-risk situations before gaining full license privileges, have resulted in a 40 percent decrease in crashes among 16-year-old drivers.
Child safety seat education is also helping to cut down on the cost of injuries toward children, a figure near $3.6 billion annually. Increased awareness about seat belts is also helping. In addition, laws regarding motorcycle and bicycle helmets are being enacting in more states, prompted by evidence that shows proper use of helmets can reduce the risk of death or brain injury by 69 percent.
Sobriety checkpoints are another method shown to be highly effective in preventing crashes. They have reduced the number of crashes due to alcohol-impaired drivers by more than 20 percent.
If you or someone you loved suffered serious injuries due to a motor vehicle accident, contact our office. We will give you a free evaluation and consultation, as well as the information you need to make important decisions about your case. We will see to it that you are fully compensated for any pain or suffering you have experienced, as well as the medical bills you may incur from your injuries.