The economic and societal impact of motor vehicle crashes, 2010
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© 2014 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. In 2010, there were 32,999 people killed, 3.9 million were injured, and 24 million vehicles were damaged in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. The economic costs of these crashes totaled $277 billion. Included in these losses are lost productivity, medical costs, legal and court costs, emergency service costs (EMS), insurance administration costs, congestion costs, property damage, and workplace losses. The $277 billion cost of motor vehicle crashes represents the equivalent of nearly $897 for each of the 308.7 million people living in the United States, and 1.9 percent of the $14.96 trillion real U.S. Gross Domestic Product for 2010. These figures include both police-reported and nreported crashes. When quality of life valuations are considered, the total value of societal harm from motor vehicle crashes in 2010 was $871 billion. Lost market and household productivity accounted for $93 billion of the total $277 billion economic costs, while property damage accounted for $76 billion. Medical expenses totaled $35 billion. Congestion caused by crashes, including travel delay, excess fuel consumption, greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants accounted for $28 billion. Each fatality resulted in an average discounted lifetime cost of $1.4 million. Public revenues paid for roughly 9 percent of all motor vehicle crash costs, costing tax payers $24 billion in 2010, the equivalent of over $200 in added taxes for every household in the United States. Alcohol involved crashes accounted for $59 billion or 21 percent of all economic costs, and 84 percent of these costs occurred in crashes where a driver or non-occupant had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or greater. Alcohol was the cause of the crash in roughly 82 percent of these cases, causing $49 billion in costs. Crashes in which alcohol levels are BAC of .08 or higher are responsible for over 90 percent of the economic costs and societal harm that occurs in crashes attributable to alcohol use.
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