Every year, thousands of Americans are killed in motor vehicle crashes. As a car accident law firm we see hundreds of accidents a year alone in the county. The intangible costs in suffering and loss of human life caused by fatal car accidents, many of which are preventable, are difficult to quantify. A new report, however, indicates that the monetary price tag on motor vehicle deaths is also substantial.
Billions Lost in Car Crashes
Taking into account both medical care costs and lost workplace output stemming from fatal motor vehicle accidents, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) estimates the yearly cost of these crashes is $80 billion.
This estimate comes from a report that details state-by-state statistics based on 2010 data. Some localities are over-represented: just 10 states account for half of the $41 billion figure. Costs in Texas alone amount to $3.5 billion annually; California is the only state that incurs greater losses due to fatal car accidents.
More Safety Measures
In 2016, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, 3,773 individuals were killed on Texas roadways, an average of one auto accident death every 2 hours 20 minutes. Many such tragic deaths are avoidable.
Almost half of those killed in vehicles equipped with seat belts were not buckled up at the time of the car crash. The CDC believes that enacting nationwide primary seat belt laws (which allow law enforcement officers to pull over and cite vehicle occupants strictly for failing to wear a seatbelt), along with stringent enforcement, could help reduce deaths.
Additional CDC recommendations include better child safety seat policies, graduated driver licensing programs for new drivers, and mandatory helmet use for all motorcycle riders. In Texas, adult motorcyclists are not required to wear a helmet if they have completed an approved safety course and are covered by health insurance that will pay for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident; 53 percent of Texas motorcyclists killed in 2016 were not wearing a helmet.
Tougher drunk driving initiatives could also prevent deaths: almost 23% of 2016 fatal accidents in Texas involved a driver under the influence of alcohol.
If You Have Been Affected By a Fatal Car Accident
If you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, contact an Austin attorney today. Although nothing can ever fully compensate you for the death of a family member, your attorney can help defray the huge financial and personal costs of a fatal car accident by ensuring you collect the monetary damages you deserve.