If you’ve ever been involved in a motor vehicle collision, even a so-called “minor accident,” you already know how the financial costs can mount rapidly. Costs to repair motor vehicles seem to go up every year. Even with insurance that covers property damage, there is usually a deductible to be paid out of pocket before the body shop will turn over the repaired vehicle. Add to that the cost of a rental vehicle while a car is being repaired (few auto policies actually cover the full cost of a temporary replacement vehicle), and the out-of-pocket price tag grows by the day – and that’s just property damage. More alarming are the costs for medical treatment and lost income when physical injuries are involved.
A recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) placed the total cost for medical care and productivity losses related to both fatal and non-fatal motor vehicle collisions in a one-year period at over $99 billion! Of this total, $17 billion was directly related to medical care. Costs for persons injured or killed while riding in motor vehicles (cars and light trucks) amounted to $70 billion (71%), while motorcyclists accounted for $12 billion, with costs for pedestrians and bicyclists injured or killed in automobile-related trauma adding another $10 and $5 billion respectively.
Another recent CDC study found that 10 states accounted for half of the $41 billion in medical and work-loss costs related to motor vehicle fatalities in 2005. States with the highest medical and work loss costs were: California ($4.16 billion), Texas ($3.50 billion), Florida ($3.16 billion), Georgia ($1.55 billion), Pennsylvania ($1.52 billion), North Carolina ($1.50 billion), New York ($1.33 billion), Illinois ($1.32 billion), Ohio ($1.23 billion), and Tennessee ($1.15 billion).