The Economic Impact of Deadly Motor Vehicle Crashes
With the amount of driving that’s done on the U.S. and Georgia highways every year, it’s very unlikely that there’s anyone who hasn’t been personally affected by a car or truck accident—or isn’t at least familiar with someone who has. The human impact of motor vehicle collisions are well known: property damage, injuries, loss of life, et cetera. Naturally, those things are what affect people on a personal level, but it’s also interesting to take a look at the economic and human impact on a macro level.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Atlanta, GA lists statistics on the economic impact caused by deadly motor vehicle crashes in the United States. According to the CDC, the United States suffers $41 billion in medical expenses and lost work time costs each year as a result of deadly motor vehicle crashes in this country. Keep in mind that this figure is solely for deadly crashes (motor vehicle accidents where one or more persons die as a result). Furthermore, over thirty thousand individuals lose their life in car or truck crashes on our roadways.
In addition, to the above aggregate figures, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention also sifted through the information and compiled a list of the ten states with the highest medical cost and lost work time due to deadly car crashes. It would come as no surprise to any personal injury attorney dealing in car or truck crashes in Atlanta to learn that Georgia ranks fourth in the nation in this category. According to the CDC, Georgia suffers $1.5 billion in medical and work time costs due to deadly motor vehicle crashes.
When considering the fact that the CDC is only referring to crashes that involve death, one could only imagine how the numbers would skyrocket if they factored in the medical expenses and lost work time of car, truck, and motorcycle crashes involving serious personal injuries that didn’t involve fatalities. Crashes of this nature are even more prevalent than fatality crashes.
Having identified the problem, what then will the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommend to prevent this hazard to the citizens that it is trying to protect? While U.S. car crashes are on the decline, new trends like distracted driving and text-messaging threaten to reverse that trend. Like many other states, Georgia has tried to stem the tide of car and truck accidents by making it more difficult for teenagers—statistically the most accident prone of all drivers—to get their licenses. However, this is only one tactic, in what needs to be a multi-pronged plan of attack.