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Report Details The Exorbitant Cost Of Car Accidents In The United States

A recent report details just how much car accidents cost society.

Car accidents are costly in many ways. A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed just how costly car accidents are in economic terms. The report, entitledThe Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010, showed the heavy financial burden of car accidents that all Americans have to carry.

Losses Due To Auto Accidents

The report’s authors based their findings on auto accidents occurring during 2010. During this year, there were 3.9 million injuries, 32,999 fatalities and 24 million damaged vehicles in the United States. As a direct result of the car accidents that occurred during this year, there was $871 billion dollars in losses. Of these losses, $277 billion-nearly $900 for every person living in the country during this year-was attributed to economic losses.

The remaining $594 billion in losses came from the harm that auto accidents cause society. This figure accounts for noneconomic costs such as loss of life, pain and suffering and a decrease in the quality of life that these accidents cause. The report pointed out that even people not involved in accidents pick up the costs for societal losses, as about $200 billion of these losses are paid by everyone through taxes and higher insurance premiums to cover expenses such as court costs, insurance administrative costs, fees for emergency services and other costs.

Overall, the report found that motor vehicle crashes accounted for about 1.9 percent of the gross domestic product during 2010.

Risky Driving Behaviors Are Costly

Interestingly, the report found that risky driving habits are responsible for a majority of economic and societal costs. It identified three risky driving behaviors that accounted for 56 percent of the economic loss and 62 percent of the societal harm. First, exceeding the speed limit accounted for 21 percent of economic losses, costing $59 billion. Additionally, speed-related crashes were responsible for $210 billion (or 24 percent) of the societal harm for 2010.

Additionally, drunk driving accidents also were the second highest source of economic and societal costs. These accounted for $49 billion (18 percent) of economic losses and $199 billion (23 percent) of societal losses. Finally, distracted driving also ranked in the top three, responsible for $46 billion (17 percent) in economic losses and $129 billion (15 percent) in societal.

An Attorney Can Help

If you are involved in a car accident, you may suffer many unexpected losses such as medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of income and future rehabilitation costs. Under Nevada law, you may be eligible to recover these losses from the driver if he or she caused the accident by engaging in a risky driving behavior, such as speeding, drunk driving or texting while driving. An experienced personal injury attorney can listen to your situation and work to recover all compensation that you are entitled to by law.

Keywords: car accidents, negligence

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