Through a variety of efforts, the U.S. has reduced traffic deaths, accidents and injuries since the 1960s. Still, the impact of motor vehicle accidents in states such as Illinois and throughout the country remains high.
Not only do accidents cause deaths and personal injuries, but they also result in property damage, life disruptions and financial impacts.
A look at the cost of traffic deaths
The Centers for Disease Control cites statistics that show the impact of motor vehicle deaths on both the national economy and on individual lives. The burden placed on the friends and families of accident victims remains difficult to adequately measure.
Roughly 38,000 people die on U.S. roads in a typical year. Traffic deaths resulted in an economic impact of $55 billion in terms of medical expenses and work loss costs. Specifically for Illinois, the numbers reveal the high toll of traffic deaths: about $15 million in medical costs and $1.69 billion in work loss costs for a total cost of traffic crash deaths of $1.70 billion in 2018.
A look at the toll of injuries
The National Safety Council reports on some disturbing motor vehicle crash numbers from data emerging from 2021. The first is that traffic deaths increased in both of the past two years. The second is that accidents that resulted in significant injuries approached 2.4 million in the first six months of 2021.
Estimated data predict that the cost of traffic accidents in terms of deaths, injuries and property damages exceeded $240 billion for this time period. The total cost of motor vehicle accidents involves many intangible burdens such as suffering, depression and other outcomes.