It’s widely understood that a serious car accident can instantly change your life. But very few motorists understand the true financial costs of a car wreck. In a recent report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put the costs at tens of thousands of dollars.
On average, according to the CDC report, going to the emergency room after a car crash will cost the victim about $3,300. If a crash victim is hospitalized, the cost of the wreck rises to about $57,000 over his or her lifetime. More than 75 percent of those costs will be incurred within 18 months of the car accident.
More than 5.6 million car accidents were reported to police in 2012, according to the latest study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More than 33,500 people died in those crashes.
The CDC report says for every person killed in a car crash, 100 are treated in an emergency room and eight are hospitalized.
Injuries suffered in car crashes in the U.S. in 2012 will cost the crash victims a total of $18 billion over the course of their lives, according to the CDC. On top of the medical costs, the CDC says injuries suffered in car accidents in 2012 will cost $33 billion in the victims’ lost work hours.
In another report, the CDC says car accident deaths in South Carolina cost $8 million in medical expenses and $997 million in lost work and productivity each year, for a total of $1.01 billion.
The most important point made in the CDC report we cite at the top of this post is in its title: “Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries Costly But Prevenatable.”
What does preventable mean? It means those accidents don’t have to happen. The bulk of the CDC report focuses on what federal and state governments, law enforcement and drivers can do to prevent car accident injuries. For drivers, the report suggests using seat belts as well as child safety seats, and to avoid driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The report also encourages parents to talk to their teenage children about safe driving.
After a car accident has occurred, we help car accident victims in South Carolina recover the costs of their accidents, including medical expenses and lost income. We believe standing up for accident victims and holding negligent drivers accountable for the injuries they cause is a valid means of preventing careless and reckless driving.
Get more information about safe driving from the CDC at www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety.