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CDC Quantifies the Enormous Financial Toll of Auto Accidents

March 15, 2011

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has produced a study which quantifies the high economic costs resulting from medical care, rehabilitation and lost productivity of those who suffer serious injuries or wrongful death in motor vehicle accidents. There are approximately 3.7 million auto accidents annually that result in injury or death. The CDC report analyzed the cost of medical care, treatment, rehabilitation services and productivity (i.e. years lost due to premature death or long-term disability) resulting from car accidents.

The report estimates the total cost of the losses from these sources at almost $100 billion per year. This amounts to as much as 2.3% of the entire Gross National Product (GNP) of the U.S. The goal of this CDC study was to provide insight into the amount of resources that might be saved through more aggressive accident prevention measures. The sad reality is that this enormous cost largely results from entirely preventable careless driving practices. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, for over a quarter of a century we have been representing accident victims throughout Georgia who suffer serious injury or wrongful death. Our Attorneys work hard for our clients, and are dedicated to providing exceptional service as part of our goal of being the best auto and truck accident attorneys in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia.

The enormous societal cost of auto accidents results primarily from entirely preventable unsafe driving practices. A quick review of the five most common causes of car accidents makes clear that these are preventable costs:

  • Distracted Driving: It is estimated that as much as 25 percent of all auto accidents are caused by some form of driver distraction. Approximately 5,500 people per year are killed and almost 450,000 injured in distracted driving car accidents. This cause of auto accidents is on the rise with the growing popularity of mobile communication and portable media devices. It is estimated that 85 percent of those with mobile phones regularly talk on their mobile phone while driving.
  • Driver Fatigue: Approximately 100,000 car accidents per year result from fatigued or drowsy driving. These accidents result in the death of 1,500 people and injuries to approximately 40,000 more. Amazingly 62 percent of U.S. drivers admit to driving when fatigued and drowsy with at least 37 percent admitting to falling asleep behind the wheel on at least one occasion.
  • Drunk Driving (DUI): Driving while under the influence of alcohol is responsible for about 32% of all auto accident fatalities. Almost 12,000 people per year are killed in drunk driving accidents. It is even more telling that drunk drivers who are involved in car accidents are eight times more likely to have been previously convicted for drunk driving.
  • Speeding: Speeding is a dual threat because it reduces stopping time and time available to make evasive maneuvers increasing the risk of an accident but also means that any crash will be more severe. Research shows that an increase in speed from 40 to 60 mph doubles the force of impact in an auto collision.
  • Aggressive Driving: While the exact definition of aggressive driving varies, it basically refers to drivers who operate their vehicle in a selfish or pushy manner showing little regard for the rights or safety of the others with whom they share the roads.

These five driving practices are responsible for the majority of the $100 billion in costs, tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of thousands of serious injuries annually. All of these practices are entirely preventable if drivers simply following these simple suggestions:

  1. Slow Down
  2. Pay Attention
  3. Don't Drink and Drive
  4. Show Common Courtesy

Admittedly, there is nothing particularly novel or insightful about these suggestions; they are common sense suggestions that should be second nature to most drivers. Nonetheless, drivers who disregard these most basic of driving principles cost society an enormous toll in resources and human life. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we represent those who suffer serious injury and families of those who suffer wrongful death in Georgia motor vehicle accidents. If you have been involved in a Georgia car accident because a driver failed to follow these simple common sense driving practices, we can help you obtain just compensation for your injuries and loss.

Our experienced Georgia auto accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Truck Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.