DETROIT (AP) — Traffic accidents in the United States cost society $340 billion a year, or just over $1,000 per 328 million people in the country, according to a study by safety regulators.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it investigated collisions in calendar year 2019 that killed an estimated 36,500 people, injured 4.5 million and damaged 23 million vehicles.
“This report is a striking reminder of just how devastating road traffic accidents can be for families and the economic burden they place on society,” the agency’s acting executive director Ann Carlson said in a statement Tuesday.
With fatalities rising dramatically in 2021, the Department of Transportation has begun promoting a “safe systems approach” to reduce crashes. This includes safer roads, behavior, vehicles, speed and better post-crash care.
For this report, researchers examined several NHTSA databases and unreported crashes collected through consumer surveys, according to a NHTSA statement.
The agency said the crash was worth 1.6% of the $21.4 trillion gross domestic product in 2019.
Studies show that people not directly involved in a crash pay about 75% of all crash costs through insurance premiums, taxes, time lost due to road congestion, excessive fuel consumption and environmental impact. It became clear.
According to NHTSA, the study calculated that seat belt use saved 404,000 lives and prevented $17.8 trillion in social harm from 1975 to 2019.
Nearly 43,000 people will die on US roads in 2021. This is the highest number in his 16 years that an American has returned to the road. The 10.5% increase over the 2020 figure was the largest increase since NHTSA began its fatality data collection system in 1975.
Estimates for the first nine months of last year show a 0.2% reduction in crash fatalities compared to the same period in 2021.
To reduce the death toll, the federal government is sending $5 billion in aid to cities and regions to slow vehicles, clear bike paths, and divert commuters to public transit.