Considering the number of car accidents that continue to occur on roads and highways across the country, it may seem unrealistic to think we can completely eliminate car accidents and the resulting injuries and fatalities in our lifetime. However, with the continued advancement of autonomous cars and safety technology, some believe that this goal could become a reality within the next 30 years. In addition to the thousands of lives saved, this will likely have a significant economic impact, saving billions of dollars in property damage, medical costs, traffic congestions, and other related costs.
According to the Department of Transportation, over 11 million car accidents occur in the United States each year, resulting in 2.4 million injuries. The number of accidents peaked in 2016, making it the deadliest year in close to 10 years. There were approximately 40,000 traffic fatalities in 2016, an increase of close to 2,000 fatalities compared to 2015. From a financial standpoint, car accidents cost the United States a staggering $871 billion. There is no way to put a price tag on the emotional toll of lives lost.
Research shows that speeding has the most significant economic impact, causing some of the costliest wrecks. Drunk driving is a close second, followed by distracted driving. The amount of public spending on car accidents is so significant that each household in the United States saw an average increase of $156 in their taxes.
Self-Driving Cars’ Impact on Reducing Accidents
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, self-driving cars can help reduce injuries and fatalities, as well as the economic burden of car accidents. In fact, the article says, widespread acceptance of self-driving cars can reduce the incidence of car accidents by 90 percent. This translates into 300,000 lives saved per decade, nearly $190 billion in damages and health costs saved each year, and a 40 percent reduction in insurance premiums.
The following are specific factors that contribute to the $871 billion impact that car accidents have on the economy:
Productivity losses totaling $57.6 billion
Wage losses of up to $1.6 billion
Nearly $76 billion in property damage
Medical and rehabilitation costs of up to $23.3 billion
Legal and court costs totaling $10.9 billion
Over $8 billion in employer costs
Close to $1 billion in emergency services
Insurance administration costs of $20.5 billion
Approximately $28 billion in traffic congestion costs
Other examples of costs associated with car accidents include:
Drunk driving car accidents cost the United States $49 billion
Speeding-related accidents cost the nation $59 billion
Distracted driving accidents cost $46 billion
Car accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists incur costs totaling $19 billion
In 2014, the lifetime medical costs for a year’s worth of car accident injuries totaled $18 billion
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Car Accidents
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We are hopeful that car accidents will become a thing of the past, but until then, we are committed to protecting your rights and seeking the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.