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August 25, 2010

CDC: Car crash costs huge, accidents preventable


The annual cost of injuries and productivity losses from crashes involving cars, motorcycles, bicyclists and pedestrians is now pushing $100 billion, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That amounts to nearly $500 for each U.S. licensed driver in one year, according to the study published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention.

The breakdown is about $70 billion for car crashes, $12 billion for motorcycles, $10 billion for pedestrians and $5 billion for bicyclists. (Data is from 2005, the most current at study time.)

“Every 10 seconds, someone in the United States is treated in an emergency department for crash-related injuries, and nearly 40,000 people die from these injuries each year,” said Dr. Grant Baldwin, director of CDC's Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, in a statement. “This study highlights the magnitude of the problem of crash-related injuries from a cost perspective, and the numbers are staggering.”

The study also found that fatalities cost $58 billion, hospitalizations cost $28 billion and trips to the emergency room cost $14 billion; 70 percent of those killed and 52 percent of those hurt were men;  teens and young adults made up 28 percent of injuries but only 14 percent of the population; and motorcyclists accounted for 6 percent of deaths and injuries and 12 percent of the costs.

The CC said the deaths and injuries are preventable with such programs as graduated driver licensing policies that require teens to gain experience over time; child safety seat distribution; primary seat belt laws and enhanced enforcement; motorcycle and bike helmet laws; and sobriety checkpoints.

More information on laws and other data can be found here and informationon the CDC's efforts on motor vehicle safety is here.

So, do you buckle up?

Baltimore Sun file photo/Brendan Cavanaugh

Posted by Meredith Cohn at 3:42 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Healthy Living


time for mandatory in-car breathalyzers for first time drunk driving offenders. Alcohol is by far one of the largest contributing factors for fatal car crashes.

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.

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