Motor Vehicle Accidents Cost Americans $871 Billion, NHTSA Study Finds
August 25, 2014
A recently published study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) quantifies the costs of motor vehicle accidents in a single year in the U.S., and the numbers are astounding. According to the NHTSA’s report, The Economic and Societal Impacts of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010, traffic accidents end up costing Americans about $871 billion in economic loss and social harms.
Breaking down these numbers a bit, the findings of this study have reportedly found the costs of motor vehicle accidents within a given year to be:
- $594 billion in the damages related to the loss of life and the injuries caused by these accidents
- $277 billion in economic costs, which includes (but is not limited to) property damage, lost productivity, etc.
On an individual level, these costs work out to be about $900 per American per year.
More Shocking Findings of the NHTSA Study
The NHTSA study, which was published at the end of May 2014, specifically highlighted the following factors as playing a role in compounding the costs of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S.:
- Speeding, which comprises about 17 percent of the overall cost of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. Specifically, accidents caused by speeding were found to cost Americans about $59 billion within a given year, which works out to about $191 per American.
- Driving while distracted, which comprises approximately 17 percent of the total economic losses associated with motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. This works out to be about $46 billion in financial impacts caused by distracted driving accidents, which works out to about $129 per person in the U.S.
- Drunk driving, which reportedly accounts for approximately 18 percent of the total financial impacts of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. Specifically, drunk driving accidents cost Americans about $49 billion in a given year, which breaks down to a cost of about $158 for each person in the U.S.
When taking into account the various societal impacts that drunk driving accidents have on Americans, the costs of these motor vehicle accidents nearly quadruples, totaling about $199 billion.
As U.S. Secretary Anthony Foxx explained in the press release for this groundbreaking NHTSA report:
No amount of money can replace the life of a loved one, or stem the suffering associated with motor vehicle crashes…while the economic and societal costs of crashes are staggering, today’s report clearly demonstrates that investments in safety are worth every penny used to reduce the frequency and severity of these tragic events.
Portland Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm
Have you or a loved one been hurt in a motor vehicle accident? If so, the Portland motor vehicle accident attorneys at the Savage Law Firm are ready to help you get the compensation you likely deserve. Since 1977, we have been devoted to providing each of our clients with personal attention, respect and the highest quality legal services. This means that you can trust us to work diligently to help you obtain the highest possible settlement and the best possible outcome to your case.
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