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NHTSA Study Reveals Vehicle Crashes Cost us $871 Billion a Year

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/31/2014 Karla Sanchez

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Link text.... recently conducted a study examining vehicle crashes and came across some surprising findings. Crashes in 2010 cost Americans a staggering $871 billion, which equals out to about $900 per person living in the U.S.

Research

These numbers include both economic costs ($277 billion) and societal harm ($594 billion), which the NHTSA defines as "harm from the loss of life and the pain and decreased quality of life due to injuries." The study, dubbed "The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010," focuses on behavioral factors that contributed to that year's 32,999 highway fatalities, 3.9 million injuries and 24 million damaged vehicles, revealing three behaviors accounted for the majority of crashes. At the top of the list was speeding, which accounted for 21 percent of the total economic loss. That cost the U.S. $59 billion, which amounts to $191 per person in the U.S. As for societal harm, speeding accounted for 24 percent ($210 billion) of the overall societal harm. car_crash_1© Provided by MotorTrend car_crash_1

Drunk driving is second in line, which is takes up 18 percent of the total economic loss. That's $49 billion dollars, which equals out to $158 for each person living in the U.S. These types of crashes are responsible for $199 billion in overall societal harm, or 23 percent. Distracted driving is another behavior high on the list. At fault for 17 percent of the total economic loss, those types of crashes cost Americans $46 billion as a whole, which averages out to $148 per person living in the U.S. As for the overall societal harm, distracted driving was responsible for 15 percent, or $129 billion. Pedestrian and bicyclist-related crashes were also factored in, though they're responsible for a much smaller fraction of total economic loss at 7 percent ($19 billion). 2013-volvo-xc60-iihs-crash-test-1© Provided by MotorTrend 2013-volvo-xc60-iihs-crash-test-1

With this in mind, it's no wonder the NHTSA is pushing for increased safety standards. So is Ford, which today announced that it is licensing its patented inflatable seat belt technology so that other automakers, companies, and industries could jump on board in an overall effort to keep passengers safe.

Source: NHTSA

honda-civic-vs-odyssey-crash-test-4© Provided by MotorTrend honda-civic-vs-odyssey-crash-test-4
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