Speeding cost the county $269 billion in 2010

Though our blog tries to focus on the Pittsburgh area, sometimes covering individual motor vehicle accidents can downplay just how prevalent crashes are. If we look at the nation as a whole, it is readily apparent that there are large numbers of crashes and people injured in car accidents every year. In 2010, there were 3.9 million nonfatal injuries and 32,999 people who died from car accidents. Not only are car accidents horribly prevalent, but they are also horrificaly expensive.

Based on that same data from 2010, car crashes cost Americans $871 billion. This figure may seem high, but it includes more than just the economic losses, but also the societal harm that comes with a crash. Societal harm includes pain and suffering, decreased quality of life and the cost of wrongful death.

One of the most expensive contributors to car accidents is speeding. Speeding was responsible for $210 billion of the societal harm and $59 billion of economic costs. It really isn’t that surprising, as speeding is a major cause of car crashes.

Ultimately, this study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has assigned numbers to support what we all inherently know: car accidents cost us and society a great deal.

Though they do cost a lot, many of those people who are injured in car accidents can file personal injury lawsuits against the responsible driver in an effort to have their costs covered. The problem is, however, that many times some of these costs can never be truly compensated. Money alone will not relieve pain and it certainly won’t bring back someone who was killed by a negligent driver.

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