The Societal Impact of Auto Accidents


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In May, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report citing the economic and societal impact of motor vehicle crashes in the U.S.. According to the report, motor vehicle crashes cost the country some $277 billion in 2010 alone. ( While past versions of the NHTSA report have focused on how motor vehicle accidents impact the economy, this version includes valuation for loss of life and lost quality of life. Considered factors include medical care, Emergency Medical Service (EMS), market productivity, household productivity, insurance administration, workplace cost, legal costs, congestion, and property damage.

National Crash Rates for Most Common Auto Accident Causes

In 2010, there were 13.6 million motor vehicle accidents across the country, in which 3.9 million people were injured. 32,999 people died as a result of these accidents, and 23.9 million vehicles were damaged. Drunk driving continues to play a major role in fatal and non-fatal motor vehicle accidents. About 40 percent of all car accidents are related to alcohol consumption. Unfortunately, alcohol played a role in 21 percent of all accidents and resulted in 13,323 deaths and 430,000 injuries and cost the economy $59.4 billion in that year alone. Not all accidents were caused by alcohol even though alcohol was involved. However, accidents caused by alcohol resulted in 326,000 injuries and 11,226 deaths and cost the economy $49 billion. Distracted driving continues to be a serious problem on U.S. Highways and biways. Distracted driving includes eating, talking on the phone, texting, and any other activity that prevents you from focusing on driving. Distracted driving auto accidents have resulted in 735,000 injuries, damaged more than 3 million vehicles, and killed 3,267 people. Distracted driving crashes cost the economy about $45.8 billion. In the report, the agency states that because distracted driving is not very easy to detect, the statistics given are probably on the low side. As with distracted driving, just how much of a role speeding played in auto accidents across the country is unclear, but the agency provides the following statistics, which again, may be on the low side. The NHTSA associates speed-related crashes with 800,000 injuries and 10,536 deaths. The agency reports that car accidents caused by speed cost about $191 for every one in the country. The NHTSA writes that public revenue paid for about 9 percent of all auto accidents, which cost taxpayers about $24 billion in the year 2010, or the equivalent of about $200 in additional taxes for every house in the country.

When an Auto Accident Gets Personal

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, or if a loved one was killed in a drunk driving, distracted driving, or speed-related accident due to no fault of their own, contact Clore Law Group as soon as possible so we can help you file an auto accident claim or a wrongful death lawsuit. Call 843-722-8070 now.

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Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, or business tort. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.