CDC: Motor Vehicle Crashes Cost $99 Billion Annually

A report just issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that motor vehicle accidents cost every licensed driver in the U.S. about $500 a year. Car crashes cost about $99 billion annually in medical care and lost productivity.

Of the total, $3.6 billion goes toward treating children who are injured in car crashes, according to the report, published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention.

In looking at car crash statistics from 2005, the CDC report finds that every ten seconds someone is treated in an ER for injuries suffered in an auto accident. Nearly 40,000 lives are lost every year as a result of car crashes.

The costs break down like this:

  • Occupants of cars and light trucks: $70 billion
  • Motorcyclists: $12 billion
  • Bicyclists: $5 billion
  • Pedestrians: $10 billion

Jacksonville is one of the top cities for pedestrian and bicycle accidents, many of which are severe, and make up about 6 percent of all injuries and fatalities. Motorcycles make up 12 percent of all of the injuries and related expense. Young people make up 28 percent of all of the fatalities and non fatal motor vehicle injuries as well as almost one-third of the cost ($31 billion), even though they represent just 14 percent of the population.

What is cutting down on the number of accidents?

  • The Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) policies which phase in driving privileges as the teen gets older and more responsible behind the wheel. The GDL is thought to have reduced crashes among 16-year-olds by 40 percent.
  • Florida’s primary seat belt law now allows law enforcement to cite motorists for not wearing seat belts.
  • Child safety seat distribution and education programs have ensured seats are correctly installed.