Car Accidents Cost the U.S. $871 Billion Per Year, Study Shows

This estimate comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's latest report, accounting for the economic loss and societal harm over vehicle accidents from 2010. Simply put, driving mistakes that conclude in car accidents amount to $897 per U.S. capita yearly.
2014 Chevrolet Malibu IIHS crash test 1 photo
Photo: IIHS
According to the agency, the aforementioned figures compile various costs connected to vehicle accidents, including car repair costs, hospital bills, legal and court costs and productivity losses, among others noted.

The NHTSA declared in a statement that "This includes $277 billion in economic costs - nearly $900 for each person living in the United States based on calendar year 2010 data -- and $594 billion in harm from the loss of life and the pain and decreased quality of life due to injuries."

As for the biggest problems connected to the figures above, the agency found speeding to account for 21 percent of financial losses, with driving under the influence following on a close second. Distracted drivers (including texters) are to blame for 17 percent of the $871 billion total economic costs.

NHTSA acting administrator David Friedman declared on this matter that "This new report underscores the importance of our safety mission and why our efforts and those of our partners to tackle these important behavioral issues and make vehicles safer are essential to our quality of life and our economy."

Entitled 'The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2010', the study conducted by the NHTSA further reveals that 32,999 people lost their lives on North American roads in 2010, while 3.9 million other drivers, passengers and pedestrians suffered non-fatal injuries.

However, census data suggests the number of auto-related injuries is declining, mostly because more and more drivers recognized the importance of buckling up: "Safety belt use prevented 12,500 fatalities, 308,000 serious injuries, and $69 billion in injury related costs in 2010".
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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