Annual Cost of Auto Accidents Equals $500 for Every US Motorist

car%20wreck.jpgIn 2005, the economic cost of accidents, including medical expenses and lost income from days off from work, totaled a staggering $99 billion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which came upon that estimate, however believes that the $99 billion tag could actually be much lower than the actual amount. For instance, that estimate doesn’t include increased expenses in the form of higher insurance premiums that a motorist may have to pay after an accident. When you factor in these costs, the actual economic cost of accidents in 2005 could cross $200 billion.

It’s data from 2005, but in spite of the five year gap, there’s no reason for Indiana personal injury lawyers to believe that accident costs for 2009 or 2010, would be significantly lower. If you take the analysis methods adopted by the CDC, you are likely to find billions of dollars of economic losses caused by traffic accidents every year.

Some of the key points that emerged from the study:

* Motor vehicle accidents accounted for three quarters of all traffic-accident related costs in 2005.

* Motorcyclists, on the other hand, were involved in just about 6% of all fatal and nonfatal accidents in 2005, but accounted for 12% of all costs. That’s because motorcyclists are much more likely to sustain extremely serious injuries in a crash, or die from these. That explains the higher expenses, even with lower numbers of accidents and injuries.

* Similarly, pedestrians account for just 5% of all injuries, but 10% of all costs. These people are also at a higher risk of suffering catastrophic injuries, like spinal cord injuries or brain injuries that require extensive hospitalization, therapy and rehabilitation which pad costs further.

Anyway you look at it, a $99 billion price tag is a terrible waste. The CDC advises states to work on reducing these costs by enforcing primary seat belt laws, increasing child car safety seat use, mandating motorcycle and bicycle helmets, increasing sobriety checkpoints and phasing in tougher graduated drivers’ licensing policies for teen motorists.