North Carolina residents will likely agree that human life is the highest cost paid in car crashes, but it may be surprising to learn that the dollar cost in loss of productivity and loss of life due to to auto accidents was approximately $1 trillion in the U.S. in 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Insurance companies pay about 50 percent of auto collision costs, and individual accident victims pay approximately 26 percent. Third parties pay about 13 percent of these costs, the federal government picks up about 6 percent, and state and local municipalities cover about 3 percent.
After several years of fatalities on the nation’s highways declining, the figure took an upward turn in 2012. According to NHTSA, at least 33,500 people perished in crashes that year, increasing the number of deaths by slightly more than 3 percent from 2011. In addition, at least 2,300,000 individuals received injuries in motor vehicle accidents in 2012, which was an increase of more than 6 percent from 2011.
It is estimated that approximately 10 million accidents per year never get reported, according to NHTSA. Among collision causes, alcohol-impaired driving was found to be the contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatalities in 2012, while speeding was the cause in 30 percent of fatal collisions the same year. Among male drivers between the ages of 15 to 20 and the ages of 21 to 24 who were involved in fatal wrecks in 2012, 37 percent of them were speeding.
In light of such high statistics, any individual who is involved in a motor vehicle accident may rightfully be concerned about whether the other driver was driving carelessly or impaired. If the other party is found by a court to be negligent, an award might be granted to the victim as a means of compensation for expenses and suffering.
Source: Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, “Cost of Auto Crashes & Statistics“, October 04, 2014