Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Annual Accident Costs Equal $500 for Every Licensed American Motorist

In 2005, costs from fatal and injurious accidents cost the US economy $99 billion, or $500 for every licensed motorist in the country. That information comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency’s division of unintentional injury prevention analyzed accident and cost data for the year 2005. The costs include medical expenses and days off work from injuries. In fact, according to the CDC, when you factor in insurance increases and taxes, the estimate is likely to cross $200 billion.

Approximately 31% of the $99 billion incurred as a result of accidents in 2005, was a result of motor vehicle accidents, with costs touching $70 billion. The cost of fatal and injurious motorcycle accidents was $12 billion dollars, and for pedestrian and bicyclists, the cost was $10 billion and $5 billion respectively.

Teenagers made up just 14% of the American population, but accounted for 28% of all fatal and nonfatal motor vehicle injuries, and 31 percent of the total accident-related costs. Motorcyclists accounted for 12% of the costs, although they were involved in just 6% of the fatal and nonfatal injuries. That is because motorcyclists are more likely to suffer from serious injuries like brain injuries and spinal cord injuries that require extended hospitalization and higher expenses.

The CDC has no magic formula that it recommends to prevent fatal and nonfatal injury accidents and minimize those staggering cost estimates. The agency recommends what every California auto accident lawyer already knows. The risk of fatal accidents can be prevented simply by:

• enacting stronger graduated drivers license (GDL) policies for teen motorists
• enhancing car safety seat education and awareness for parents and caregivers
• making helmets mandatory for motorcyclists and bicyclists
• enacting primary seat belt laws and enforcing these
• having more numbers of DUI checkpoints to keep drunk drivers off the roads

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