Deaths from U.S. motor vehicle crashes resulted in $41 billion in medical and work loss costs in a year, with 10 states accounting for half the costs, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The findings are based on 2005 data, the most recent year for which comprehensive information on costs associated with crash deaths is available.
The 10 states with the highest medical and work loss costs were:
- California, $4.16 billion
- Texas, $3.5 billion
- Florida, $3.16 billion
- Georgia, $1.55 billion
- Pennsylvania, $1.52 billion
- North Carolina, $1.5 billion
- New York, $1.33 billion
- Illinois, $1.32 billion
- Ohio, $1.23 billion
- Tennessee, $1.15 billion
Road safety project launched to increase awareness
The CDC released the cost data to coincide with the May 11 launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety, a project led by the United Nations General Assembly to increase focus on protecting lives on the world's roads from 2011 to 2020.
The CDC Injury Center recommends states consider the following strategies to reduce crash deaths:
- Seat belt laws that allow motorists to be stopped and cited for not wearing seat belts
- Strong child safety and booster seat requirements for young passengers
- Comprehensive graduated licensing systems that grant driving privileges in stages, so new drivers gain experience under lower-risk conditions
- Motorcycle helmet laws requiring riders of all ages to wear helmets
Improved safety saves lives and leads to lower car insurance rates for everyone.