According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 2.5 million people checked into the emergency room to receive treatment for injuries caused during a car crash in 2012 alone. Out of those 2.5 million or so trips to the hospital, approximately 200,000 patients required hospitalization in order to treat their injuries. Officials report that the average cost of these visits is about $3,300 for the emergency room and $57,000 for hospitalization over the patient’s lifetime. In total, the medical bills over the lifetime of all patients injured in a car crash reached approximately $18 billion.

Cost Broken down by Age Groups

Through their studies, the CDC has broken down the cost of accidents by age groups:

  • Ages 0–14: The lifetime cost of medical bills for victims in this age group is approximately $1.1 billion.
  • Ages 15–29: The lifetime cost of medical bills for victims in this age group is approximately $6.5 billion.
  • Ages 30–49: The lifetime cost of medical bills for victims in this age group is approximately $5 billion.
  • Ages 50–69: The lifetime cost of medical bills for victims in this age group is approximately $3.8 billion.
  • Ages 70 and up: The lifetime cost of medical bills for victims in this age group is approximately $2 billion.

Safety Tips

While avoiding a crash altogether is the best way to avoid the cost of treatment, a reckless or negligent driver could take that choice out of your hands. That means that the best decision to make is keeping yourself and your family safe in the event of a crash, and the CDC offered a number of actions you can take to protect yourself and your passengers.

  • Buckle up. Your seatbelt is one of the most important safety devices in your car.
  • Make sure small children are buckled into their age-appropriate car seats, and make sure those seats are secure in the back of your car. It’s safest to keep all children under the age of 12 in the back seat as well.
  • Don’t drink/do drugs and drive. Even if your BAC is under the legal limit, any impairment could become a serious issue.
  • Know your local laws. Each state may have different safety requirements and restrictions, and adhering to these rules will help keep you safe and help you avoid any unnecessary tickets.

Americans who suffer injuries in a car crash spend a total of about one million days in the hospital and lose around $33 billion in a lifetime of work. Officials are constantly reviewing the safety laws in place in order to minimize the number of serious injuries caused by car accidents, but there’s only so much they can do to prevent reckless and negligent drivers from endangering the lives of other people on the road.

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Stann Givens is the founding partner of law firm Givens Givens Sparks, located in Tampa, Florida. A board certified attorney in marital law, he has accumulated many accolades, including "Lawyer of the Year" 2016 by Best Lawyers® in the area of family law in Tampa. To contact Stann Givens, call him at (813) 375-0109 or visit the firm’s website at http://www.givenssparks.com/.