Every year, the United States loses in the neighborhood of 30,000 people to traffic accidents. That's like the entire population of a medium-sized town being wiped out annually. The number of deaths not only wreaks havoc with families, but it puts a strain on our economy.
In recognition of the rising costs of traffic fatalities – not just in the U.S., but globally – the United Nations General Assembly has declared 2011-2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety. The ten-year span will be marked by increased consciousness of driving habits, road conditions and vehicle safety. In honor of the event, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has put together some alarming statistics.
In 2005, traffic deaths wound up costing just over $41 billion in medical bills and work lost. Yes, that's billion with a "B." According to the CDC, 10 states stood head and shoulders above the rest in monetary losses. Those were: California, at $4.16 billion, Texas, at $3.50 billion, Florida, at 3.16 billion, Georgia, at $1.55 billion, Pennsylvania, at $1.52 billion, North Carolina, at $1.50 billion, New York, at $1.33 billion, Illinois, at $1.32 billion, Ohio, at $1.23 billion and Tennessee, at $1.15 billion.
Though these 10 states handily outranked the others, the CDC tallied up the monetary total for all of the 50 states. To see how your home state fared, check out the CDC website. If the U.S. can rack up such an alarming total by itself, we shudder to think what the global costs of car wrecks is.