With more than 41,000 people killed per year on United States highways, motor vehicle crashes have become one of the leading causes of death among Americans. But what's now being recognized is the high economic cost of those accidents, which is reflected in higher taxes and health care costs.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regional administrator Elizabeth Baker, motor vehicle crashes costs the U.S. $150 billion a year. Property damage accounts for $52.1 billion of those annual costs, and lost productivity $42.2 billion.
For trucking and the general motorist population, the cost of highway crashes is affecting both taxes and insurance premiums, said Baker. U.S. taxpayers pick up $13.8 billion of the annual highway crash bill, or $144 in added taxes per household per year, she noted.
Insurance premiums then pick up $9.3 billion of those costs, which Baker said is passed on to highway users through higher insurance rates.