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The Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes Economically

Posted by Jordan Travis | Mar 30, 2023

In 2019, motor vehicle crashes cost American society $340 billion according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2013). 

This $340 billion figure of motor vehicle crashes represents the equivalent of $1,035 for each of the 328 million people in the United States and 1.6% of the $21.4 trillion real U.S. gross domestic product for the year 2019 (NHTSA, 2023).

Even people who are not directly involved in crashes pay for crash costs. Roughly 3/4 of all crash costs are paid primarily through:

  • insurance premiums;
  • taxes;
  • congestion-related costs such as lost time;
  • excess fuel consumption;
  • increased environmental impacts.

In 2019, traffic crashes cost taxpayers $30 billion, which was roughly 9% of all motor vehicle crash costs (equivalent of $230 in added taxes for every household in the United States).

A report named "The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2019" looked at the cost of risky driving behaviors that contributed to crashes that led to fatalities, serious injuries and property damage, including:

  • Alcohol
    • resulted in 14,219 fatalities, 497,000 injuries and $68.9 billion in economic costs in 2019;
  • Distracted Driving
    • resulted in 10,546 fatalities, 1.3 million nonfatal injuries and $98.2 billion in economic costs in 2019;
  • Failure to Wear a Seat Belt
    • caused 2,400 avoidable fatalities, 46,000 serious injuries and $11 billion in economic costs in 2019;
  • Speeding
    • associated with 10,192 fatalities, 498,000 nonfatal injuries and $46 billion in economic costs in 2019;
    • Speed-related crashes cost every person in the United States an average of $141;

Seat belt use prevented more than 14,600 fatalities, 450,000 serious injuries and $93 billion in injury-related economic costs in 2019 (NHTSA, 2023).

For more information on the impacts of motor vehicle crashes read the full report here:

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision, contact Travis Legal Offices, LLC today for a FREE consultation.

About the Author

Jordan Travis

Jordan M. Travis - Jordan observed first-hand the practice of law while growing up in Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado Boulder, graduating #1 in his class, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a minor in Leadership. Jordan also attended the University of Colorado ...

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