Car Accident Injury Costs

October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Deaths and other injuries from car accidents drain an estimated $100 billion from the U.S. economy every year, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A study published in August in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention by government investigators, calculates the cost of medical care and productivity loss for the year 2005, the most recent year with the most complete data available. Researchers found that motorcycle accidents and pedestrian accidents often result in the most expensive injuries, and that teens and young adults account for a far greater proportion of the injuries and deaths than their actual population.

Maryland Car Accident LawyersPeople riding in motor vehicles made up 71% or about $70 billion of the annual cost of auto accident injuries and fatalities. Motorcyclist accidents made up $12 billion, or about 12% of the cost, even though they only account for 6% of the collisions. A similar situation exists with pedestrians, whose accident injuries and fatalities cost the economy $10 billion, although they only make up 5% of the people injured.

Teens and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 only make up 14% of the population, but accounted for 31% of the costs and 28% of all fatal and non-fatal motor vehicle injuries.

“Every 10 seconds, someone in the United States is treated in an emergency department for crash-related injuries, and nearly 40,000 people die from these injuries each year,” said Dr. Grant Baldwin, director of CDC’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “This study highlights the magnitude of the problem of crash-related injuries from a cost perspective, and the numbers are staggering.”

The CDC released a fact sheet on auto accident prevention (PDF) to coincide with the study, and recommends that communities increase the use of graduated driver license policies for teens, child safety seat distribution and education, motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws, sobriety checkpoints and increase seat belt law enforcement.

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