Drunk Driving Crashes Extract High Cost From Economy

cost of drunk drivingWe all know there is an emotional toll extracted from motor vehicle crashes. People are injured, sometimes to the point where they can’t continue to lead the life they had before, while others suffer fatalities within their families that change both their lives and family dynamic forever. Although implementing new safety measures to reduce risk factors leading to crashes takes a toll on the U.S. economy, a new study by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows just how high the cost of these crashes are.

The study, “The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2010” states that crashes have cost $871 billion dollars in both economic loss and societal harm. That number includes $277 billion in economic losses due to the crashes and $594 billion in loss of life, pain, and decreased quality of living due to the injuries sustained.

Drunk driving crashes took a high toll, accounting for 18% of the total economic loss and has cost the United States $49 billion dollars. Drivers with a blood alcohol level of over .08 caused 90% of these crashes, and the total economic loss for drunk driving crashes was $49 billion dollars.

Distracted driving is also a growing problem in the U.S. Crashes involving distracted driving caused 17% of the total economic loss and cost $46 billion dollars in 2010 alone. The study also mentioned lack of seat belt use and pedestrian crashes as factors impacting the total cost to U.S economy.

Although the monetary costs to the economy are staggering, they don’t begin to touch the impact vehicle crashes have on American families. From the pain and suffering resulting from motor vehicle injuries to the ultimate loss of a family member, the damage from crashes can be life changing. For both the personal and economic impact, this report shows the need for the U.S to continue investing in safety measures to reduce vehicle crashes in our country.