From Our 2011 Archives
Vehicle Accident Deaths Cost States Billions
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CDC Says Costs for Medical Care and Work Loss Were Highest in California, Texas, and Florida
Reviewed By Laura J. Martin, MD
May 11, 2011 -- Deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes cost an estimated $41 billion in the U.S. in medical and work-loss expenses in the CDC's most recent annual estimate.
The estimates are from 2005, the most recent year for which cost and crash data are available.
The analysis shows that just 10 of the states account for almost half the total, or $20.4 billion.
The states with the highest medical and work loss costs for the year 2005 were:
The CDC says the analysis was not designed to explain the variation in state costs.
CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, says in a news release that deaths from motor vehicle crashes are often preventable. He says the use of seat belts, graduated driver's license programs, child safety seats, and motorcycle helmets could save lives and reduce health care costs.
The CDC released fact sheets for each state to coincide with the launch of a program called Decade of Action for Road Safety. The period 2011-2020 has been designated by the United Nations as the Decade of Road Safety, calling for an emphasis on protecting lives on roads around the world.
"It's tragic to hear that anyone dies on our nation's roads," says the CDC's Linda Degutis, DrPH, MSN. Degutis is director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. "Child passenger safety laws and comprehensive graduated driver licensing laws are proven to protect young lives."
Degutis says states should be encouraged to "strengthen and enforce these laws to help keep more of our young people safe."
Safety Recommendations for States
The CDC offers the following recommendations for states to consider as strategies:
"These preventable costs are a reflection of the terrible suffering of American families whose loved ones are killed or injured on the roads," Norman Mineta, chairman of Make Roads Safe North America, says in the news release.
Mineta, a former secretary of transportation, says the worldwide driver-safety effort demonstrates that "it is time for all of us to take action to save lives at home and around the globe."
The CDC says nine of the 10 states with the highest costs are the most populous in the nation, with 53% of the population. Tennessee is the only sate with the top 10 highest costs that doesn't have one of the largest populations.
Here is a list of the states and their total costs for crash deaths:
State List of Motor Vehicle Deaths
Here is a list of the states and their motor vehicle deaths for 2005:
These are the 10 states with the highest motor vehicle deaths per 100,000 people in 2005:
SOURCE: News release, CDC. ©2011 WebMD, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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