Healthcare Costs of Motor Vehicle Crashes
Posted on October 31 2014
Each year, millions of Americans go to the emergency room as a result of motor vehicle accidents and related injury. Nearly 10% of motor vehicle related emergency room visits result in hospitalization. Crashes in 2012 alone will result in a lifetime cost of $18 billion in medical care. Further costs of these crashes lead to a loss of productive work totaling $33 billion creating an excess of $50 billion in loss.
Some groups, like teens and the elderly, are at a higher risk of auto accidents and related costs than others. Teen and young adult motor vehicle accidents account for nearly 40% of annual occurrences. Each emergency visit costs roughly $3,300 and resultant lifetime hospitalization costs average $57,000 per individual. Data indicates that 1/3 of patients over the age of 80 are hospitalized after motor vehicle accidents.
However, more recent data indicates that there were significantly less emergency visits and hospitalizations than in prior years. For example, as compared to 2002, there were 400,000 less emergency room visits and 5,700 less related hospitalizations.
Changes to safety regulations, vehicle standards, and overall preparation aids in reducing the occurrence and resultant medical treatment from these accidents. As technology continues to improve and individuals become more aware and prepared for emergencies, these numbers should continue to be reduced.