Auto Accidents Cost us $900 Each, Every Year

A shocking statistic has just been released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the cost of auto accidents. The agency says that even if you’re not involved in a crash, auto accidents are costing you $900 annually.

This number isn’t per household, it’s per person. NHTSA data says that, collectively, drivers paid $277 billion in 2010 in crash-related expenses, and that doesn’t include the value of deaths, injuries and general harm. When the NHTSA considered those factors it found drivers were strapped with an additional $594 billion.

Regardless of your best efforts to drive safely, drivers that have accidents are running up these costs for the rest of us. Taking a look at the cost of a few reckless, yet common, behaviors behind the wheel, the NHTSA reveals speeding accounted for the largest economic loss (21%) while drunk driving and distracted driving followed close behind, (18% and 17%, respectively.)

But how was all of this calculated? According to the NHTSA, these numbers are the result of higher insurance premiums caused by accidents, taxes, and the traffic delays accidents cause. Drivers who aren’t involved in these crashes end up paying 75% of this total cost, or $200 billion each year.

Other expenses include payouts from health insurance, legal fees, and the inevitable physical waste that results when vehicles are destroyed in a wreck.

Take another step back and examine the cost of auto accidents in relation to the gross domestic product; the data reveals these accidents comprise 1.9% of the GDP overall. In 2010 that was $14.98 billion.

Sadly, human error accounts for 90% of all vehicle accidents, says 3-point seat belt manufacturer Autoliv.

Although traffic accidents have declined sharply since the 1970s, the World Health Organization estimates by the year 2030, car crashes will be the fifth leading cause of death, with 2.4 million deaths each year.

If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a car accident, contact The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm today for a free consultation at (855) 522-5291.

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