Traffic congestion is something many of us deal with on a daily basis. When considering lost time and added fuel costs, it comes as little surprise that the collective effects of congestion cost Americans billions every year. However, according to a new study from AAA, the substantial costs of congestion are pale in comparison to the cost of traffic accidents.
The Economic Toll Of Motor Vehicle Accidents More Than Triple That Of Congestion
In early November, AAA released a report that compared traffic congestion and automobile crashes in terms of economic impact for the year 2009 (the most recent year for which data was available). The bill for slow, lengthy commutes was certainly not insignificant: the time and fuel lost by Americans stuck on congested highways added up to $98 billion. But, crashes cost a staggering $300 billion.
Many factors can come into play when calculating the cost of a crash, including property damage, emergency services, legal and medical costs, and the lost income of those injured or killed. For victims and their families at least, many of these costs are recoverable from responsible parties and insurers with the help of qualified West Virginia car accident lawyers. Still, crashes can be a significant economic drain, especially those that result in injury or death. On average, a traffic injury carries a total price tag of $126,000. Roadway deaths, on the other hand, cost on average $6 million.
Accountability Fosters Prevention
Every year, approximately 33,000 people die on our nation’s roads. The human suffering that results from traffic injuries and death is unquantifiable, and the new AAA study proves that the economic costs are also substantial.
Tragically, many accidents that change lives are preventable. AAA believes tough laws, strict enforcement and heavy penalties for roadway threats like speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving can help save both lives and costs.
Clearly, holding drivers responsible for dangerous behaviors behind the wheel is a key to making the highways safer for everyone. If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, an experienced auto accident attorney can help you do just that. In addition, your attorney will help you recover the compensation you deserve for your expenses and injuries. Contact a lawyer today to explore your legal options.