Every 10 seconds, someone in the United States is treated in an emergency room for injuries related to motor vehicle crashes, and nearly 40,000 people die from these injuries each year, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The study also found that the cost of medical care and productivity losses associated with injuries from motor vehicle crashes exceeded $99 billion: with the cost of direct medical care accounting for $17 billion. The total annual cost amounts to nearly $500 for each licensed driver in the United States.
Other key findings:
- More men were killed (70%) and injured (52%) in motor vehicle crashes than women. Injuries and deaths among men represented 74% ($74 billion) of all costs.
- Teens and young adults made up 28% of all fatal and nonfatal motor vehicle injuries and 31% of the costs ($31 billion). These young people represented only 14% of the U.S. population.
- Motorcyclists made up 6% of all fatalities and injuries but 12% of the costs, likely due to the severity of their injuries. Pedestrians, who have no protection when they are hit by vehicles and are also often severely injured, made up 5% of all injuries but 10 percent of total costs.
- The one-year costs of fatal and non-fatal crash-related injuries totaled $70 billion (71% of total costs) for people riding in motor vehicles, such as cars and light trucks, $12 billion for motorcyclists, $10 billion for pedestrians, and $5 billion for bicyclists.
The study also makes recommendations on how to improve child passenger safety, reduce alcohol-impaired driving, improve teen driver safety, and increase seat belt use.
For more information: www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/index.html.