The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published an incredibly thorough 304 page report, breaking down what motor vehicle crashes cost. The NHTSA breaks it down into costs for medical care, workplace costs, household productivity, legal costs, property damage, etc.

The report, entitled The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes can be found here.


It states some pretty alarming numbers:

“In 2010, there were 32,999 people killed, 3.9 million were injured, and 24 million vehicles were damaged in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. The economic costs of these crashes totaled $242 billion. Included in these losses are lost productivity, medical costs, legal and court costs, emergency service costs (EMS), insurance administration costs, congestion costs, property damage, and workplace losses. The $242 billion cost of motor vehicle crashes represents the equivalent of nearly $784 for each of the 308.7 million people living in the United States, and 1.6 percent of the $14.96 trillion real U.S. Gross Domestic Product for 2010. These figures include both police‐reported and unreported crashes. When quality of life valuations are considered, the total value of societal harm from motor vehicle crashes in 2010 was $836 billion.”

Drinking and driving is obviously bad on so many levels. In addition to the ridiculous number of people killed by drunk drivers, alcohol related crashes accounted for $52 billion or 22 percent of all economic costs. On a positive note, seat belt use prevented 12,500 fatalities, 308,000 serious injuries, and $50 billion in injury related costs.
By: Michael Raff, Esq.