Deaths and non-fatal crash injuries for drivers and passengers in cars and light trucks cost $70 billion. Motorcyclists’ costs were another $12 billion; pedestrians, $10 billion, and bicyclists, $5 billion.
CDC researchers worked from injury and fatality data from 2005, the most recent year for which both injury/death data and costs were available. The cost of all fatal injuries involving motor vehicles - including deaths of drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists - totaled $58 billion.
Men suffered more deaths and injuries, 70 percent of deaths and 52 percent of injuries, than women. Teenagers and young adults comprised 28 percent of all deaths and injuries, and incurred 31 percent of medical expenses. Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death for children in the US; more than 1300 children died in motor vehicle accidents in 2005.
Although motorcyclists constituted only 6 percent of those killed and injured, costs associated with their deaths and injuries were 12 percent of the total. This larger figure is due to the greater severity of their injuries, and the need for more extensive treatment.
The CDC study stresses that many of these deaths and injuries are highly preventable. The use of car seats<="" a=""> for young children, seat belts for larger children and adult passengers, graduated licensing programs for teen drivers, and proactive programs to reduce driving while intoxicated have all been shown to reduce deaths and the severity of injuries. The savings are not only in dollars, but in lives spared and suffering prevented.
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an auto accident, contact our personal injury team. We represent victims of auto accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents and trucking accidents. Having an advocate on your side while going through this very difficult time, can help ease the anxiety in the aftermath of a fatal traffic accident. You don't have to deal with the insurance companies on your own, which may be the last thing you want to do.
If you have been in this situation, what costs were you not expecting? Which costs seemed extremely high? Has this changed you or your family's driving habits? Let us know.