The NHTSA claims that the annual cost of car crashes in the USA is $871 billion a year. This study was different to others; it took into account the estimated loss of earning potential; the projected loss of income resulting from a car crash death. It may sound like a cold way to calculate things, but there’s undeniable power to this sort of information.
The number of road fatalities are increasing, but why? We have so many safety features in modern cars. Forward collision avoidance systems, adaptive cruise control, side view and parking assistance, backup cameras. The focus on buying safe vehicles is more widespread than ever. What’s going on?
Maybe the answer can be found in exactly how many people are driving cars with advanced safety technology. The cars with such tech can are often quite prohibitively priced. Can most Americans really afford all this technology? The answer is no. Most people are still driving older cars without all this safety tech. There are cheap options available, though, so don’t assume you won’t be able to afford it.
But is a lack of safety tech really the cause? We’ve been going without such features for decades, after all. We’ll probably find that most accidents are still being caused by a lack of adequate attention being paid to the road. Perhaps we can blame other technologies – the smartphone, for example.
The stats on driving and texting are still extremely concerning; despite several laws being passed and how widespread knowledge is of the dangers, an estimated third of drivers in the USA admit to doing it. There are about half a million crashes a year attributed to texting. Of course, the technology itself isn’t to blame – it’s people being irresponsible with their use of it.
One unanswered question about this information may not be too obvious to many. How much of these costs are the results of law fees? Let’s take a look at people driving under the influence. Even a minor accident can balloon out in costs if a driver needs to pay law fees. Even a non-injury accident can cost into the quintuple-figures if it’s not handled correctly. Perhaps the national costs of car accidents could be mitigated if people worked with more reliable law firms that specialize in car accident compensation; the Elan Law Firm could be used as an example. And we haven’t even mentioned alcohol in these accidents yet; according to records, drunk driving is the most frequently committed crime in the country. No wonder legal fees make up a big part of the economic burden of accidents.
So what do we take away from all of this information? Well, looking at the costs of these accidents on a wider scale highlights to us the toll that they take on our country. It’s about getting a wider perspective on the importance of vehicular safety. That it’s a strain on the economy of our country is undeniable, and the absurdity of it all is accentuated by how avoidable car accidents are. Perhaps the time has come to make a real push for increased investment in road safety.