Nationwide road collision statistics and costs

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, 33,561 people were killed and 2.36 million people were injured in the 5.42 million motor vehicle accidents that authorities reported across the United States in 2012. This means that a crash-related death occurred every 16 minutes. In Washington state alone, 444 people died in traffic collisions the same year. Despite these statistics, the agency estimates that around 10 million or more car accidents a year are never reported.

With the NHTSA reporting an increase in motor vehicle crashes and deaths in 2012, an auto insurance claims study from the Insurance Research Council shows that the medical costs for auto injuries continues to rise quicker than inflation while the seriousness of the injuries decreases. The average economic damages claimed between 2007 and 2012 rose 8 percent annualized in relation to personal injury claims, and the average damages claimed for bodily injury increased 4 percent. By 2012, the average bodily injury claim was for $14, 653 while the average property damage claim was for $3,073. The average comprehensive claim cost $1,585 while the average collision claim cost $2,950.

The NHTSA reports that car accident victims only pay around 26 percent of the expenses. While local and state municipalities pay around 3 percent and federal revenues pay about 6 percent, medical providers and charities pay around 14 percent. Private insurers account for the remaining percentage of total crash expenses. In 2010, the total costs amounted to nearly $1 trillion.

When people are hurt in accidents that result from the negligence of other drivers, they could be entitled to compensation that pays for the medical costs, lost wages and other out-of-pocket costs. These victims, for example, might have suffered injuries when a driver ran a red light and hit their vehicle. To secure compensation, the victims may hire a lawyer to help them strengthen their case.

Source: Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, “Cost of Auto Crashes & Statistics“, October 06, 2014

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