The Georgia Injury Lawyer & Attorney Blog has posted a startling article, originally from FleetOwner.com, about how car accidents, including medical costs and productivity losses, in the year 2005 cost the US $99 Billion…which roughly averages to a $500 bill to each licensed driver in the country.
Here’s some of the number breakdown:
-“Costs related to fatal motor vehicle-related injuries totaled $58 billion. The cost of non-fatal injuries resulting in hospitalization amounted to $28 billion, and the cost of injuries to people treated in emergency departments and released was $14 billion. ”
-More men were killed and injured than women (70% men, 52% women). Men represented about $74 billion of all costs.
-Teens and young adults make up 28% of injuries and fatalities-about 31% of all costs ($31 billion).
-Motorcyclists comprise 6% of injuries and fatalities, but the cost is $12 billion due to the severity of their injuries as opposed to those riding in cars.
-Pedestrians, who aren’t protected at all when struck by a vehicle, make up 5% of injuries- $10 billion because of the extent of their injuries
The majority of these deaths and injuries can be prevented in several different ways:
.• Graduated driver licensing (GDL) policies: these laws allow new teen drivers to get experience on the road in lower-risk situations as they gain experience over time and are proven to reduce teen crashes. Strong GDL laws have been associated with up to 40% decreases in crashes among 16-year-old drivers, the CDC said.
• Child safety seat distribution and education programs: increased use of correctly installed and fitted child safety seats could help reduce the $3.6 billion annual bill for injuries to children, the cost of deaths and injuries determined by this study for this population group.
• Primary seat belt laws: these laws allow motorists to be stopped and cited for not wearing seat belts. Seat belts reduce the risk of death to those riding in the front seat by about half, the CDC noted.
• Enhanced seat belt enforcement programs: Enhanced enforcement programs in which law enforcement officers focus on getting people to buckle up (e.g.: Click It or Ticket), are effective at increasing safety belt use and reducing deaths and injuries, the agency pointed out.
• Motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws: helmets can reduce the risk of death in a motorcycle crash by more than one-third and reduce the risk of brain injury by 69%.
• Sobriety checkpoints: these checkpoints, where drivers are stopped to assess their level of alcohol impairment, can reduce alcohol-related crash deaths by more than 20%
Let’s all remember to be very careful on the roads!