Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries Costly but Preventable

cdc data

Courtesy of CDC website.

More than 2.5 million Americans went to the emergency department (ED)—and nearly 200,000 were then hospitalized—for crash injuries in 2012. On average, each crash-related ED visit costs about $3,300 and each hospitalization costs about $57,000 over a person’s lifetime. The best way to keep people safe and reduce medical costs is to prevent crashes from happening in the first place. But if a crash does occur, many injuries can still be avoided through the use of proven interventions. More can be done at every level to prevent crashes and reduce injuries, but state-level changes are especially effective.

State officials can:

  • Consider using proven interventions that increase the use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts; reduce drinking and driving; and improve teen driver safety.
  • Support traffic safety laws with media campaigns and visible police presence, such as those used with sobriety checkpoints.
  • Link medical and crash data to better understand why crashes happen, the economic cost of those crashes, and how to prevent future crashes.

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