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What are the economic costs of car accident deaths?


Car accidents can have a dramatic emotional and economic effect on individuals and families. Medical expenses can be great, and families may have to deal with the death or injury of a loved one. But did you know that car accidents also have a major effect on the economy of Pennsylvania and our country generally? When we look at the issue this way, it can bring into focus the devastating effect of car accidents on the Keystone State.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a study on the economic effect of car accidents. The CDC gleaned the data from its online database of injury-related data. They discovered that auto accident deaths have high work-loss costs, meaning that each auto accident death costs our country's economy a great deal. This is because many of the victims of car accidents are young people who otherwise would have had a long career ahead of them in which they would have made a positive contribution to our economy. In 2013, these work-loss costs added up to a staggering $44 billion.

The CDC made some recommendations for how these costs could be reduced. They recommend improvements to the driver's licensing system, where driver's education students would be subject to a graduated licensing process. The CDC also recommended sobriety checkpoints, increased seat belt and car seat compliance and improved car safety systems.

What options does an individual or family have if they are affected by an injurious car crash? If another party is at fault, it may be possible to recover damages such as lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "State-Specific Costs of Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths," accessed on May 5, 2018

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