Tally Of Annual Vehicle-Crash-Related Costs: $99 Billion

August 25, 2010
U.S. traffic crashes cost each licensed driver about $500 annually, and just over a year, the total cost associated with traffic crashes added up to more than $99 billion in all.

Those figures come from a new Centers for Disease Control study released today and published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention.

That figure includes all the related expenses, such as the loss in productivity, medical costs, and property damage. In all, direct medical care alone totaled $17 billion.

Broken down by vehicle type, the one year costs of crashes with fatalities or injuries totaled $70 million for those riding in motor vehicles, $12 billion for motorcyclists, $10 billion for pedestrians, and $5 billion for bicyclists.

Among the many interesting findings in the study: Way more men (70 percent) were killed in motor vehicle crashes than women, and injuries and deaths combined for men represented 74 percent of all such costs. And motorcyclists, while making up six percent of fatalities and injuries, involved 12 percent of the costs.

The cost just to treat those who had been injured in vehicle crashes, then treated and released by emergency departments, totaled $14 billion alone.

The figures are based on 2005 data, as it was the most current and verifiable from multiple sources at the time of the study.

The CDC's Injury Center recommends the following to help prevent these injuries and costs:

  • Graduated licensing policies
  • Child safety seat programs
  • Primary seatbelt laws
  • Enhanced seatbelt enforcement programs
  • Motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws
  • Sobriety checkpoints


[Centers for Disease Control, via Detroit News]

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