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The High Cost of Motor Vehicle Crashes in the U.S.

A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that there is a huge economic impact on U.S. citizens as a result of motor vehicle crashes. The study was based on data involving motor vehicle crashes for the calendar year 2010. The NHTSA study, entitled The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010, reports $877 billion in economic loss and societal harm for Americans, which means a cost of about $900 per each person living in America. According to the study, the economic loss breakdown is as follows:

• Crashes due to drunk driving: 18%
• Crashes due to speeding: 21%
• Crashes due to distracted drivers: 21%
• Crashes pedestrian and bicycles: 7%
• Crashes involving failure to wear seatbelts: 8%. The study also reports that the use of seatbelts prevented $69 billion in medical care, lost productivity, and other injury related costs.

This study should alert all of us to exercise safe driving habits. Don’t drive if you are tired, ill, or under the influence of alcohol or any substance. Drive at a safe and lawful speed. Don’t text and drive and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists while driving your motor vehicle. And, of course, always wear your seatbelt.

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