The true cost of car accidents

Suffering injuries as a result of a car accident can be a costly experience. Even a relatively minor crash can result in consequences that may turn a family’s finances upside-down. Between medical bills and lost income due to time taken away from work to heal, the monetary ramifications of a car accident can affect families for months or even years.

Thanks to the efforts of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), lawmakers and the American public have recently gained a far better understanding of what the financial costs of motor vehicle crashes truly are. In a nutshell, the annual costs of such crashes total $340 billion dollars. 

Why are crashes so costly?

When vehicles crash, victims often require expensive medical treatment and follow-up care. Workers often lose time away from work, which costs them income and costs employers productivity. Insurance premiums spike after crashes and repair costs can be extensive. 

All too often, there are also additional costs associated with the aftermath of accidents that aren’t widely spoken about. For example, when someone is recovering from significant injuries and can’t cook for themselves for a time, their food costs will likely go up as they may need to order takeout or purchase higher-priced pre-prepared food from grocery stores. These costs may seem incidental but they can really add up. 

Losses that can’t be calculated

It is critically important to understand that motor vehicle crashes don’t only result in financial losses that are relatively easy to evaluate. They also cost victims and their loved ones time, energy, stress, a lowered quality of life, pain, suffering and even loss of life. 

By better understanding just how costly – both objectively and subjectively – motor vehicle accidents truly are, the public can push lawmakers to enact more effective safety policies and pursue safer road projects. This understanding can also empower victims to seek justice, when appropriate, to better ensure that the financial burdens stemming from crashes caused by others don’t inappropriately fall on their own shoulders. 

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