February 8, 2016
Putting a value on human life is impossible, as the loss of one person – especially if that person is someone whom you love – can be profoundly devastating. And no sum of money may ever make up for such a permanent loss.
In terms of medical bills and lost productivity associated with deadly car accidents, however, the numbers are more concrete. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2010, car crashes (both fatal and nonfatal) cost nearly $1 trillion in terms of medical expenses and lost productivity.
Given that deadly crashes have been on the rise in the U.S. in recent years (as the NHTSA recently revealed), these costs are expected to climb in the coming years.
Fatal Car Accidents in the U.S.: A Glance at the Facts
- More than 30,000 Americans die in car accidents each year in the U.S., making motor vehicle crashes among the top 10 causes for people younger than 55.
- In 2013 (the most recent year for which complete data is available), deadly car accidents in the U.S. cost an estimated total of $44 billion in terms of lost wages and medical costs.1
In Colorado alone, more than 500 people were killed in deadly car accidents in 2013, costing approximately $647 million in terms of medical bills and lost productivity.
Who Pays the Costs associated with Vehicle Related-Deaths?
In general, various parties can be burdened with the costs of deadly car crashes, including (but not necessarily limited to):
- Insured drivers, who pay approximately 50% of these costs
- Crash victims, who typically cover about 26% of these costs
- Other drivers, charities, and Insured healthcare providers, which pay roughly 14% of these costs
- Federal, state and local government revenues, which covers approximately 9% of these costs
- Other 1%
Causes of Deadly Car Accidents
To reduce the costs – and incidence – of fatal auto wrecks across the nation, it’s first important to understand some of the major causes of these accidents, which include (but are by no means limited to):
- Driver impairment – Alcohol impairment accounted for more than 10,000 lives lost in deadly car accidents (in 2013).
- Driver fatigue – Drowsy driving contributed to nearly 21% of all car accident fatalities.
- Driver distraction – Texting while driving, along with other forms of distracted driving, accounted for nearly 3,200 deaths in car accidents in 2013
- Other driver negligence – While speeding contributed to about 9,600 traffic-related deaths (in 2013), running red lights played a role in nearly 1,000 deaths resulting from auto crashes.
(Data Sources: NHSTA, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
How Can Colorado Prevent Deaths Due to Car Accidents?
Yes, and this is the good news for motorists. In fact, federal transportation safety authorities have proposed various solutions, including the following, to try to reduce deadly car accidents in the US:
- Enforcing stricter seatbelt laws and penalties
- Establishing child car seat laws (for children up to 8 years old)
- Continuing the graduated driver’s license system for teenagers.
Contact a Littleton Car Accident Lawyer at Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker
If you have been injured in a car accident, it’s time to contact a trusted Littleton car accident lawyer at Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker. Since 1983, our attorneys have been fighting on behalf of injured people while working diligently to help them maximize their financial recoveries.
To get more information about your potential case and rights, call us at (303) 794-7422 or email us using the contact form on this page.
1: According to the CDC