The Trillion Dollar Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes
Measuring the costs of motor vehicle collisions involves considering both the actual economic impact as well as the losses to society. A new study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows just how high the costs can be. As the NHTSA reports, there is an $871 billion economic and social impact resulting from collisions in the United States each year.
Because the costs of motor vehicle collisions is so high, it is essential that those who are harmed understand their rights in the wake of a serious or fatal collision. Those who are responsible for causing the wreck must pay damages to injured victims or to surviving family members of loved ones killed in a crash. Accident lawyers in Wilmington, NC at the Law Offices of Richard Flexner can help those who have been hurt to take action and obtain compensation.
The Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes
The NHTSA found that motor vehicle collisions cost $277 billion in actual economic expenses, which is about $900 for every person living in the United States. When also factoring in pain and suffering, loss of life and decreased quality of living among survivors, there are an additional $594 billion in social costs.
The high price of collisions is explained by the fact that there are so many deadly accidents and so many serious injuries each year. In 2010, there were 32,999 deaths, 3.9 million non-fatal injuries and an additional 24 million damaged cars.
Certain kinds of driving behavior can significantly increase the risk of collisions and these behaviors have an especially high cost. For example, crashes that were caused by drivers impaired by alcohol accounted for about 18 percent of the total economic loss that occurred in the U.S. and also accounted for 23 percent of overall societal harm. The economic cost of drunk driving collisions was around $49 billion, or an average cost of $158 per person in the U.S. The costs of lost life were $199 billion. More than 90 percent of collisions with impaired drivers involved motorists whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was above the .08 legal limit.
Speeding is also a leading driver of motor vehicle collision costs. The economic damages caused by speeding totaled $59 billion in 2010, which is an average cost of $191 per person living in the United States. This accounts for 21 percent of economic damages. Speeding also accounted for 24 percent of total societal harm, and there were more than $210 billion in losses from social damage.
Finally, driver distraction is another major reason for the high costs of collisions. Distracted drivers accounted for 17 percent of the total economic losses that occurred and there was a cost of around $46 billion in actual economic damages. This is an average of $148 per person. Including lost quality of life and other social costs, distracted driving crashes were responsible for $129 billion in harm. This means that distracted drivers caused 15 percent of all overall societal damage due to motor vehicle collisions.
These costs must be paid by the drivers responsible for causing the motor vehicle collision. Call an experienced attorney after an accident to learn how we can help.
Help is available for accidents victims in Willmington, NC. Contact the Law Offices of Richard Flexner at 800-FLEXNER or visit http://www.getflexner.com to schedule a free consultation.