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CDC Issues Report On The Cost Of Motor Vehicle Accidents

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report on motor vehicle crash injuries occurring in the U.S. in 2012. The report tallies the total cost of these accidents and lays out ways to improve motor vehicle safety in the future. The October 2014 report is entitled Costly but Preventable, highlighting the CDC viewpoint that car and truck crashes are entirely preventable if proper care is taken. Reducing accidents to zero is a lofty goal, but certainly a worthy one. All drivers should take the time to consider what safety improvements they could make to reduce the potential of a crash.

The CDC asks state officials to consider three avenues for improving motor vehicle safety. First, officials should consider methods of increasing proper use of child safety seats, booster seats and seat belts, as well as methods of reducing drunk driving rates and improving teen driver safety. Drinking and driving is a factor in roughly one-third of all fatal traffic accidents, claiming more than 10,000 lives every year. Seat belt use is also a major factor in fatal car accidents. The CDC considers adult seat belt use to be the single most effective way of reducing injuries and fatalities in vehicle crashes. 

The CDC further suggests that states support traffic safety laws through the use of publicity campaigns and visible police presence. Finally, states are encouraged to link medical and crash data to improve our understanding of what causes crashes, what those crashes cost us and how accidents could be prevented in the future. Motor vehicle accidents are expensive in terms of dollars, but they are so much more damaging in terms of their impact on victims and their families. A greater emphasis on safety and responsible conduct can keep families whole and prevent tragedies that destroy lives. It is well worth the time to protect innocent lives.

Source: CDC Vitalsigns, "Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries," October 2014 

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