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Highway Crashes Cost Country $871 Annually

Financial toll about $900 annually for every American.

by on May.30, 2014

Crashes, such as this one blamed on distracted driving, take an enormous human and economic toll, a new NHTSA study underscores.

Roadway crashes are responsible for more than 30,000 annual deaths – they are, in fact, the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 34. But they also pose a serious economic burden for everyone living in the U.S.

A new federal study found that crashes cost the country $871 billion in in 2010. In terms of just the economic cost, a total of $277 billion, that works out to nearly $900 for every man, woman and child living in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study estimated that so-called societal harm, in terms of the damage done through loss of life, pain and injury, was more than twice as high, at an average $594 billion.

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“No amount of money can replace the life of a loved one, or stem the suffering associated with motor vehicle crashes,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “While the economic and societal costs of crashes are staggering, today’s report clearly demonstrates that investments in safety are worth every penny used to reduce the frequency and severity of these tragic events.”

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