The cost of crashes amounted to 1.6% of the $21.4 trillion gross domestic product in 2019, according to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Traffic accidents have become one of the main problems for the safety of Americans, but also for their budgets.
According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these incidents cost society around $340 billion dollars in a year, or just over $1,000 dollars for each of the country’s 328 million people. .
“This report demonstrates how devastating traffic accidents are to families and the economic burden they place on society,” Ann Carlson, the agency’s acting administrator, said in a statement Tuesday.
The study notes that accidents in calendar year 2019 claimed the lives of about 36,500 people, injured 4.5 million, and damaged 23 million vehicles.
In the report, investigators examined various NHTSA databases as well as accidents not reported to police that were collected through consumer surveys, according to the NHTSA statement.
The cost of accidents amounted to 1.6% of the Gross Domestic Product, of $21.4 billion in 2019, the agency said.
People not directly involved in crashes pay about 75% of all crash costs through insurance premiums, taxes, time lost from traffic congestion, excessive fuel consumption and environmental impacts, the study found.
The study also calculated that from 1975 to 2019, seat belt use saved 404,000 lives and averted $17.8 billion in social damage, the NHTSA said.
A disproportionate increase in deaths in 2021
During 2021, nearly 43,000 people died on US roads. This is the highest number in 16 years, coinciding just as Americans got back on the roads after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 10.5% jump from the 2020 numbers was the largest percentage increase since NHTSA began its death data collection system in 1975.
Due to this drastic increase, the Department of Transportation began to push for a “safe systems approach” to reduce accidents. It includes safer roads, behavior, vehicles and speeds, as well as better care after a crash.
Estimates for the first nine months of last year show accident deaths fell 0.2% compared to the same period in 2021. But the government says the number remains unacceptably high.
For this reason, the federal government announced a shipment of $5 billion in aid to cities and towns to reduce vehicle speeds, create bike lanes, and push commuters onto public transportation.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.