According to an article by Larry Copeland in the USA Today for The Journal News in May, 2014, highway crashes create an enormous toll on the lives of Americans. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculates that the annual price tag for these crashes are $871 billion in economic losses in 2010. This number includes $277 billion in economic costs ($900 per person in the USA) and $594 billion in societal harm from loss of life and the pain and decreased quality of life from the injuries.

The purpose of this article points out that the staggering societal costs of accidents demonstrate that investments in safety are worthwhile to reduce the frequency and severity of these tragic events.

In 2011, the auto club (AAA) did a study which found each fatal crash in 919 urban areas carry an economic toll of about $6 million, calculated from property damage, lost earnings, loss of household activities, medical costs, emergency services, travel delays, rehabilitation, lost time from work, legal costs and pain and lost quality of life.

NHTSA’s study “The Economic and Society Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010” focuses on some of the behavioral factors that contributed to that years 32, 999 highway fatalities, 3.9 million injuries and 24 million damaged vehicles.

The study breaks down the causes with speeding, drunken driving and distracted driving accounting for 56% of the economic loss to the nation and 62% of societal harm. The breakdown is as follows:

Speeding crashes involved vehicles exceeding the speed limit or going too fast for conditions, 21% of the total economic loss and costs $59 billion;

Drunken driving crashes caused by drivers under the influence accounted for 18% of the economic loss from car accidents and cost $49 billion;

Distracted crashes involving distracted drivers accounted for 17% of the economic loss and costs $46 billion.

These are shocking figures. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call the law firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC at (914) 288-0800.

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