Saturday, October 11, 2014

CDC Report Shows Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries are Frequent and Costly

Americans spend more than 1 million days in the hospital each year from crash injuries

Lifetime work lost because of 2012 crash injuries cost an estimated $33 billion.More than 2.5 million people went to the emergency department (ED) – and nearly 200,000 of them were hospitalized – because of motor vehicle crash injuries in 2012, according to the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lifetime medical costs for these crash injuries totaled $18 billion. This includes approximately $8 billion for those who were treated in the ED and released and $10 billion for those who were hospitalized. Lifetime work lost because of 2012 crash injuries cost an estimated $33 billion.

Key Findings:

  • On average, each crash-related ED visit costs about $3,300 and each hospitalization costs about  $57,000 over a person’s lifetime.
  • More than 75 percent of costs occur during the first 18 months following the crash injury.
  • Teens and young adults (15-29 years old) are at especially high risk for motor vehicle crash injuries, accounting for nearly 1 million crash injuries in 2012 (38 percent of all crash injuries that year).
  • One-third of adults older than 80 years old who were injured in car crashes were hospitalized – the highest of any age group.
  • There were almost 400,000 fewer ED visits and 5,700 fewer hospitalizations from motor vehicle crash injuries in 2012 compared to 2002. This equals $1.7 billion in avoided lifetime medical costs and $2.3 billion in avoided work loss c

What Can You Do?

  • Use seat belts on every trip, no matter how short. Make sure passengers buckle up too.
  • Buckle children in age- and size- appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. Those 12 and under should be buckled in the back seat.
  • Choose not to drive after drinking alcohol or using drugs, and help others do the same.
  • Know Virginia's GDL laws and consider using tools like parent-teen driving agreements, if you are the parent of a teen.

Learn more about all of these tips at

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