NHTSA Finds Car Accidents Cost Us $900 Annually, Even if You’re Not Involved
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Jun 05, 2014 in Car Accidents
You might be surprised to hear that, despite your best efforts to stay safe behind the wheel, auto accidents are costing you. New data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that we all have to pay for car accidents to the tune of $900 per person every year.
This startling information comes from the agency's analysis of statistics from 2010, which revealed that people who don't crash still have to pay in the form of higher insurance premiums, taxes, fuel costs, delayed travel and more. In 2010, this amounted to $277 billion total.
The NHTSA also offered some insight to the types of behaviors that lead to these accidents. In 2010, the cost of these all-too-common actions behind the wheel broke down in the following ways: speeding accounted for the largest economic loss (21%) while drunk driving and distracted driving followed close behind, with 18% and 17%, respectively.
The $277 billion dollars paid by Americans for auto accidents each year does not include the cost of injuries, deaths and general harm. These added $594 billion to the financial burden. Consider the additional waste created by vehicles destroyed in accidents and its clear that there is a great deal to be paid for.
Pedestrians and cyclists involved in accidents are costing us, too, the NHTSA says. This group makes up 15% of all road-related deaths and accounted for $19 billion in 2010. Those who don't wear seat belts are responsible to 5%, or $14 billion, in accident expenses.
But let us 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 that car crashes will be the fifth leading cause of death by the year 2030, with 2.4 million deaths each year.
Were you hurt in a car accident, or was your loved one killed because of someone else's negligence?
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