The Terrible Cost of Motor Vehicle Accidents

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For every fatality in motor vehicle accidents across the country, there are at least eight hospitalizations and 100 injuries that result in a visit to the emergency department. Motor vehicle accidents extract a heavy toll each and every year, not just in the form of fatalities, but also injuries, hospitalization and other expenses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently analyzed the health burden and cost of injuries in motor vehicle accidents. The data is related to nonfatal crash injuries involving accidents in 2012.

The analysis found that in 2012, there were more than 2.5 million emergency department visits related to auto accidents. These were all nonfatal crash injuries. Approximately 7.5% of the emergency department visits resulted in admission to the hospital. Overall, persons who suffered nonfatal injuries and accidents spent approximately 1,057,465 days in the hospital in 2012. Auto accidents resulting in nonfatal injuries resulted in a lifetime medical cost of $18.4 billion.

The significant toll that auto accidents take every year on Americans is clear to see from those statistics. Even when people survive accidents, they are left with severe injuries, that result in extensive hospitalization, several days off from work, and possibly damaged earning potential over the rest of their lives. These people may suffer severe injuries that result in disability. Their productivity is impacted, and in the case of serious injuries like brain injuries, amputations or spinal injuries, these persons lose their ability to earn a unproductive living, and suffer a severe impact on the quality of their lives.

The sad part is that so many of these injuries can be prevented. Primary seat belt laws, that allow officers to pull motorists over as soon as they notice that they are not wearing seatbelts, and child restraint laws that require all children to be restrained in child seats, booster seats or seatbelts can help reduce the risk of injuries and accidents. For instance, many drunk driving accidents can be prevented if all states mandate ignition interlock devices to reduce the risk of impaired drivers operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. More funding for sobriety checkpoints can reduce the risk of DUI accidents, and stringent graduated driver licensing programs that toughen requirements for teen drivers can help reduce the risk of accidents involving these drivers. All of these strategies have been found to be very effective in helping reduce motor vehicle fatalities.

The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy LLP represent persons injured in car accidents across Indiana.