A fatal car crash has incalculable emotional losses for a victim’s family members and friends. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report in December that also places a financial price to this type of tragedy. In 2013, fatal auto accidents killed 30,000 people and cost $44 billion in medical and work losses in the United States. Car accidents are among the top 10 causes of death for people under 55-years-old, according to the CDC.
The CDC reported that 300 accident victims were killed in Connecticut. These fatalities cost $407 million.
Of these losses, $402 million constituted work loss costs and $5 million were attributed to medical costs. Young adults, those who are 20 to 34-years-old, incurred a $202 million cost, or 49 percent of the state’s financial losses.
Motorcyclists suffered losses of $74 million, or 18 percent of the costs. This group was followed by pedestrians, who incurred $51 million, or 12 percent of the losses in Connecticut. Connecticut suffered the second highest financial cost in the five-state New England region. Massachusetts sustained a $438 million financial loss.
The CDC made several recommendations to save lives and money. First, the state should have a primary enforcement law on seat belts that covers all seating positions. According to the CDC, seat belt use rates are nine percent higher in primary enforcement states in relation to secondary enforcement jurisdictions.
Connecticut should also mandate proper car seat and booster seat use for child passengers up to 8-years-old, along with related educational programs. The CDC also called for a graduated driver license system that includes a mandatory 12-month learner’s permit holding period and restrictions against driving between 10:00pm and 5:00am. Measures against drunk driving were also recommended. These include sobriety checkpoints and ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers.
For families who suffer the loss of a loved one, getting the right information about legal options can help them obtain compensation for their costs, such as potential loss income, pain and suffering and other related expenses.
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “State-specific costs of motor vehicle crash deaths” and “Motor vehicle crash deaths: Costly but preventable/Connecticut,” Accessed April 10, 2016