It’s almost seemingly a daily occurrence – a driver on Tennessee roads is killed in a fatal car accident. In fact, car accidents are the leading cause of death for children, teens and young adults (ages 5 to 34).
Over 30,000 people are killed each year in traffic accidents in the U.S. By the time I finish writing this sentence, another traffic accident will have occurred somewhere, regardless of whether it’s fatal or not.
In a given hour, 4 people on average lose their lives in traffic accidents.
While we can’t put a cost on a human life, we can get a glimpse of the financial cost of these accidents and fatalities. Much of this cost is absorbed through insurance and can be broken down into several categories – property damage, medical costs and lost wages are the primary costs that result from a car accident in Tennessee or anywhere else.
When factoring in all costs, a study released by AAA estimates that traffic accidents in the U.S. cost $300 billion annually, which is three times the cost of congestion on our nation’s highways.
Also according to the AAA’s study, each traffic fatality cost $6 million annually (…this number factors in all costs ranging from emergency services to lost earnings). Injuries have a high cost in of themselves too, costing an average of $126,000 for each case.
Commenting on the AAA study, safety analyst Mark Rosenker says a small airliner crash would have to occur each day for 360 days to even begin to match these costs.
For Tennessee, the cost of traffic accidents and fatalities is just as eye-popping.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, total crash-related deaths cost an estimated $1.15 billion annually – only $14 million of this amount accounts for medical costs while the remaining $1.14 billion can be attributed to work loss costs.
See the graphics below to get a breakdown of these costs by road user and age group:
Is there anything that can be done to reduce these costs and more importantly, save lives?
Better education and enforcement of existing laws for seatbelts and texting can help. Technologies like Electronic Stability Control, or ESC, can help improve a vehicle’s stability by automatically applying the brakes during a skid.
Ultimately though, it’s the responsibility of each driver on the road to drive safely. If a driver is reckless or negligent, they can be held liable for damages that occur. If they were driving under the influence or speeding excessively, they can be held criminally liable as well.
If you’ve been in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you owe it to yourself to find out if you’d qualify for compensation for lost wages, medical costs and property damage. Car accident lawyers at Knoxville’s Gilreath & Associates can provide a free, no-obligation consultation to determine if you have a strong case.
Get started today by calling our offices at (800) 637-7024 or completing our quick contact form.