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Car accidents: An expense that America cannot afford

It is nearly impossible to put a price tag on life and health. They are simply valuable beyond measure. But loss of life and health as well as the costs related to those losses need to be at least estimated in order to raise awareness about key public health issues, and one issue in particular: auto accidents.

According to a recently released report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the total cost of car accidents (measured by economic loss and societal harm) in 2010 was $871 billion. No matter how safely we drive, each of us pays these costs.

According to the report, these are just some of the factors that contribute to the overall cost of car accidents:

  • Emergency services
  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses
  • Insurance administration costs
  • Lost work and productivity
  • Property damage
  • Losses related to traffic congestion (fuel, time, environmental damage, etc).
  • Court and legal expenses
  • Costs to employers

The details in the report and the staggering price tag may seem overwhelming. But it’s important to spread the reminder that the majority of car accidents (and related deaths and injuries) are preventable. How much money would we save – and how many lives could we spare – by getting serious about fighting drunk driving and distracted driving?

You may not be able to fix all of society’s car accident problems, but you can do your part to help. And if you or a loved one has been injured or killed by the negligence of another driver, you have the right to seek appropriate compensation.

Source: Click On Detroit, “NHTSA: Car crashes have $871 billion impact on economy, society,” May 29, 2014

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