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Measuring the Losses from Motor Vehicle Accidents

Measuring the losses and damage that motor vehicle accidents cause illustrates the scope of the issue in the United States. In 2010, there were 32,999 deaths due to accidents as well as an additional 3.9 million non-fatal injuries and 24 million damaged vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), the total combined cost of these collisions was around $871 billion. This includes both economic costs as well as societal impact on citizens in the United States. grungy-money-4-1361620-m

Individual car accident victims may experience significant financial harm resulting from accidents. They may be faced with medical bills and lost wages, as well as a decreased quality of life and ongoing pain. Family members of those who are killed also experience great injustice. The driver responsible for causing the motor vehicle collision needs to be held accountable, and accident attorneys in Atlanta from the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. can help those who have been injured.

Measuring the Scale of Loss

The $871 billion in losses that the NHTSA calculated included $277 billion in actual economic expenditures like medical treatment. These costs average out to around $900 per U.S. citizen. The total also included $594 billion in harm resulting from the loss of life, the decreased quality of life from those seriously injured, and the pain that the injured endure.

There are three specific types of collisions that are responsible for the majority of these costs and losses: drunk driving accidents, speeding accidents and collisions caused by distracted drivers.

Crashes caused by drunk drivers accounted for a total of 18 percent of all of the economic losses and 23 percent of the overall societal harm that resulted from motor vehicle collisions in 2010. In total, there were $49 billion in economic losses and another $199 billion in losses to society that occurred because of drivers who were impaired by alcohol. The economic losses alone averaged out to $158 for every single person in the country.

Crashes caused by speeding drivers accounted for 21 percent of all of the economic losses and 24 percent of the overall societal harm that occurred due to motor vehicle accidents in 2010. In total, the economic losses from speeding drivers equaled $59 billion or an average of $191 per person in the United States. The costs of overall societal harm from speeding drivers totaled around $210 billion.

Finally, crashes caused by distracted drivers accounted for 17 percent of total economic loss and 15 percent of overall societal harm. The economic losses totaled $46 billion and the societal losses totaled $129 billion. Again, just the economic costs averaged out to around $148 for every single individual in the United States.

Because of the high costs of collisions, those who are injured or who lose loved ones must take legal action to protect their finances and get the compensation they deserve. An experienced attorney can help in pursuing a damage claim after a motor vehicle accident.

Call the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. at 1-800-898-HAYS or visit to schedule a free consultation.