• May 12th, 2015

In 2010, there were 32,999 people killed, 3.9 million were injured, and 24 million vehicles were damaged in motor vehicle crashes
in the United States. The economic costs of these crashes totaled $242 billion. Included in these losses are lost productivity,
medical costs, legal and court costs, emergency service costs (EMS), insurance administration costs, congestion costs, property
damage, and workplace losses. The $242 billion cost of motor vehicle crashes represents the equivalent of nearly $784 for each
of the 308.7 million people living in the United States, and 1.6 percent of the $14.96 trillion real U.S. Gross Domestic Product for
2010. These figures include both police‐reported and unreported crashes. When quality of life valuations are considered, the
total value of societal harm from motor vehicle crashes in 2010 was $836 billion. Lost market and household productivity
accounted for $77 billion of the total $242 billion economic costs, while property damage accounted for $76 billion. Medical
expenses totaled $23 billion. Congestion caused by crashes, including travel delay, excess fuel consumption, greenhouse gases
and criteria pollutants accounted for $28 billion. Each fatality resulted in an average discounted lifetime cost of $1.4 million.
Public revenues paid for roughly 7 percent of all motor vehicle crash costs, costing tax payers $18 billion in 2010, the equivalent
of over $156 in added taxes for every household in the United States. Alcohol involved crashes accounted for $52 billion or 22
percent of all economic costs, and 84 percent of these costs occurred in crashes where a driver or non‐occupant had a blood
alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or greater. Alcohol was the cause of the crash in roughly 82 percent of
these cases, causing $43 billion in costs. Crashes in which alcohol levels are BAC of .08 or higher are responsible for over 90
percent of the economic costs and societal harm that occurs in crashes attributable to alcohol use. Crashes in which police
indicate that at least one driver was exceeding the legal speed limit or driving too fast for conditions cost $52 billion in 2010. Seat
belt use prevented 12,500 fatalities, 308,000 serious injuries, and $50 billion in injury related costs in 2010, but the failure of a
substantial portion of the driving population to buckle up caused 3,350 unnecessary fatalities, 54,300 serious injuries, and cost
society $10 billion in easily preventable injury related costs. Crashes in which at least one driver was identified as being
distracted cost $40 billion in 2010. The report also includes data on the costs associated with motorcycle crashes, failure to wear
motorcycle helmets, pedestrian crash, bicyclist crashes, and numerous different roadway designation crashes.