Motor vehicle collisions have an $871 billion economic and societal impact in the United States. According to a recent study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the economic costs of motor vehicle crashes amount to almost $900 for every single person who is living in the United States.
The losses caused by motor vehicle accidents should not cause innocent victims to face financial consequences on top of the emotional and physical pain. Those responsible for causing accidents should compensate victims. An experienced Boston car accident lawyer should be consulted for information on how to pursue a claim for losses and damages.
Compensation for the Cost of Car Accidents
The NHTSA broke down the specifics regarding how it determined the cost of car accidents. The data revealed that collisions had $277 billion in economic costs and another $594 billion in costs associated with loss of life, pain and suffering, and decreased quality of life due to injuries.
The costs were incurred as a result of 32,999 fatalities, 3.9 million non-fatal injuries and 24 million damaged vehicles that resulted from accidents over the course of 2010.
Drunk driving collisions accounted for around 18 percent of the total economic losses resulting from motor vehicle collisions. Accidents caused by impaired drivers cost the nation $49 billion in actual economic costs, which equates to an average of $158 for every person in the United States. Another $199 billion in societal harm resulted from impaired driving collisions, and these crashes accounted for 23 percent of the overall societal harm that motor vehicle accidents caused. In more than 90 percent of crashes involving a drunk driver, his blood alcohol content (BAC) was above .08.
In addition to drunk driving, other drivers of costs included:
- Speeding. Crashes involving speeding vehicles accounted for 21 percent of total economic cost and for 24 percent of the overall societal harm resulting from motor vehicle collisions. Speeding crashes caused $59 billion in economic loss and $210 billion in quality of life costs.
- Driver distraction. In total, the cost of distracted driving accidents was $46 billion, which is an average cost of $148 per person in the country. Distracted driving collisions caused 17 percent of total economic losses and 15 percent of overall societal harm. The societal harm costs of distracted driving crashes totaled $129 billion.
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents. These crashes resulted in seven percent of total economic loss and 10 percent of overall societal costs of motor vehicle collisions. The costs of bicycle and pedestrian crashes was $19 billion and the cost of lost quality of life was $90 billion.
Seatbelts were able to cut down on the societal costs of motor vehicle accidents. The use of seatbelts prevented $69 billion in injury-related costs including medical care and lost productivity. However, a failure to use seatbelts was responsible for five percent of total economic loss and eight percent of total societal harm. A lack of seat belt use cost $14 billion in 2010 in actual economic costs and $72 billion in societal harm.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Drivers Acknowledge Speeding Dangers, But Are They Slowing Down? Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 9, 2014