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CDC – New York – Costs of Crash Deaths – Motor Vehicle Safety – Injury Center

New York – Cost of deaths from motor vehicle crashes

Motor Vehicle Safety – Injury Center

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading killer of children, teens, and young adults (ages 5 to 34) and among the top ten causes of death for all ages. Over 30,000 people are killed in crashes each year in the United States. In 2005, in addition to the impact on victims’ families and friends, crash deaths resulted in $41 billion annually in medical and work loss costs. It’s important to remember that crashes are preventable. Using effective programs and policies, we can reduce the number of injuries and deaths and their costs.

In New York, $415 million, or 31% of costs, were related to deaths of motor vehicle occupants. $179 million, or 13 of costs, were related to deaths of motorcyclists. $45 million, or 3% of costs, were related to bicyclist deaths, and $258 million, or 19% of costs, were related to pedestrian deaths, and $431 million, or 32% of costs, were related to unspecified types of road users.

Taking action can save lives

More than one thousand New Yorkers are killed each year in preventable motor vehicle crashes. New Yorkers can consider the following evidence-based strategies that are proven to save lives and money:

  • Primary enforcement seat belt law that covers all seating positions.
  • Comprehensive graduated drivers licensing (GDL) system to help young drivers gain experience under lower-risk conditions.

Crash-related death costs for states in your region

New York

19.3 million
$1.33 billion

New Jersey
8.6 million
$651 million


How can costs due to motor vehicle crashes be reduced?

The best way to reduce costs due to crash-related deaths is to prevent crashes. Effective strategies for preventing crashes include graduated drivers licensing laws, sobriety checkpoints, and ignition interlocks for those convicted of driving while intoxicated.

The next best way to reduce costs is to prevent injuries when crashes do happen. Among the proven ways to prevent injuries during a crash are increasing child safety seat and booster seat use through distribution and education programs, increasing seat belt use through enacting and enforcing primary seat belt laws, and increasing helmet use through comprehensive motorcycle helmet laws.

Working together, we can help keep people safe on the road—every day.

Why are work loss costs so high for motor vehicle crash deaths?

Work loss costs are the total estimated salary, fringe benefits, and value of household work that an average person—of the same age and sex as the person who died—would be expected to earn over the remainder of his or her lifetime. Motor vehicle crash deaths disproportionately affect younger people, who have the potential to contribute to the workforce for many years. Therefore, when a younger person dies, the result is a higher work loss cost.

The costs of motor vehicle accidents is too high, both in the emotional hardship caused to the victims and their families as well as in the economic cost to society as a whole.

We can all do our part to help reduce car accidents and the injuries and death they produce. Don’t text while driving. Don’t speed. Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol. Be courteous on the road. Help educate our teens of the dangers of distracted driving.

Stuart DiMartini is a New York City personal injury attorney and accident lawyer.
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