The Centers for Disease Control has just released a study showing the costs of deaths from motor vehicle crashes. In one year alone, deaths from motor vehicle crashes resulted in approximately $41 billion in medical costs and costs from loss of work. Texas was number two in the nation among states with the highest medical and work loss costs, only second behind California. Motor vehicle crash related deaths cost Texas $3.5 billion per year.
The CDC has recommended that states implement some strategies in order to save both lives and money. First, the CDC recommends that states adopt primary seat belt laws. Primary seat belt laws allow law enforcement to pull over motorists and issue tickets only for failing to wear seat belts. In some states, police officers are allowed to issue citations for failing to wear a seat belt, but only if the vehicle is pulled over for another reason. According to the CDC, wearing seat belts reduces the risk of death to those riding in the front seat by about half.
The CDC also recommends that states adopt tough child passenger safety laws. Such laws require children to be placed in appropriate safety and booster seats according to their age and size. Using the appropriate safety seats, and making sure they are properly installed, can greatly reduce injuries and deaths to children who are involved in motor vehicle crashes.
The third strategy the CDC recommends that states adopt is a comprehensive graduated driver licensing system. Graduated driver licensing systems are aimed at reducing teen crashes by gradually increasing driving privileges in stages gradually over time. Graduated driver licensing systems have been associated with up to a 40 percent decrease in crashes among 16 year old drivers.
Finally, the CDC recommends that states adopt universal motorcycle helmet laws. Such laws require motorcycle riders of all ages to wear helmets. The use of a helmet can reduce the risk of death in a motorcycle crash by over one-third and can reduce the risk of head injury by almost 70 percent.
Deaths from motor vehicle crashes take not only a huge emotional toll on the loved ones of the victims, but also a huge financial toll on the state. Have you been injured in a motor vehicle crash? If so, call Kris Barber at the Barber Law Firm today at 972-231-5800 to learn more.