The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report this month that found half the cost of car accidents in the U.S. are in 10 states.
Car crashes in Illinois contributed $1.32 billion to the $41 billion annual cost of traffic accidents –enough to rank the state 8th costliest in the nation. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers know most people think of medical bills and the cost of repairing or replacing a vehicle. However, other common costs are lost wages and future medical complications.
“Deaths from motor vehicle crashes are preventable,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden. “Seat belts, graduated driver’s license programs, child safety seats, and helmet use save lives and reduce health care costs.”
Release of the new data coincides with the United Nation’s launch of Decade of Action for Road Safety, a worldwide program aimed at reducing the nearly 2 million deaths per year on the world’s roads.
The report found nearly half of the nation’s costs are in 10 states, which account for $20.4 billion in medical and work-loss costs.
CDC’s data analysis found that the 10 states with the highest medical and work loss costs were:
-California ($4.16 billion)
-Texas ($3.50 billion)
-Florida ($3.16 billion)
-Georgia ($1.55 billion)
-Pennsylvania ($1.52 billion)
-North Carolina ($1.50 billion)
-New York ($1.33 billion)
-Illinois ($1.32 billion)
-Ohio ($1.23 billion)
Tennessee ($1.15 billion)
The CDC reports the cost of crashes involving teens is nearly $1 billion.
“It’s tragic to hear that anyone dies on our nation’s roads. But it’s especially so when the person who loses his or her life is a child or teenager,” said Linda Degutis, director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Child passenger safety laws and comprehensive graduated driver licensing laws are proven to protect young lives. We encourage states to strengthen and enforce these laws to help keep more of our young people safe.”
The following strategies are recommended for reducing costs:
-Primary seat belt laws. Seat belt use reduces the risk of death by about half for those seated in the front seat.
-Strong passenger safety policies, including age-appropriate safety seats. As we reported earlier this year on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, the federal government has released revised recommendations for keeping your child safe in the vehicle.
-Comprehensive graduated driver’s licensing programs. As we have previously reported, Illinois is a leader in this area. GDL programs have been shown to reduce accidents involving 16 year olds by up to 40 percent.
-Motorcycle helmet laws. Helmets reduce the risk of death by one-third and reduce the risk of brain injury by 69 percents.
“These preventable costs are a reflection of the terrible suffering of American families whose loved ones are killed or injured on the roads,” said Norman Mineta, chairman of Make Roads Safe North America and the longest serving Secretary of Transportation in U.S. history. “It is time for all of us to take action to save lives at home and around the globe.”
Illinois’ $1.32 billion costs break down as follows:
-$15 million medical costs
-$1.31 billion work loss costs.
-$615 million (47 percent) motor-vehicle occupants.
-$135 million (10 percent) motorcycle costs.
-$24 million (2 percent) bicycle accident costs.
-$168 million (13 percent) pedestrian accident costs.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.