Texas law requires that drivers purchase liability insurance. If you do not, you may be penalized with fines and even a jail sentence. It is not necessary to risk this because in the Houston area you can easily purchase the Sugar Land auto insurance that you need from your local Sugar Land insurance agent. However, liability insurance will only apply toward third-party injuries and property damages. To cover your own losses, you will need to add optional coverage to your auto insurance package. The bonus is that if you also need Sugar Land home insurance, you can purchase it from the same insurance company to make things convenient for you and possibly get a multi policy discount.
The Cost of Traffic Accidents
One reason that it would be advantageous for you to consider optional coverage is because motor vehicle crashes are a very real possibility, and they can cost you a lot in more ways than one. According to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, motor vehicle accidents cost Americans nearly $1 trillion each year.
The NHTSA further examined the nearly $1 trillion figure by breaking it into two parts. Officials wrote in their report entitled “The Economic Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2010” that the 32,999 fatalities and 3.9 million injuries due to motor vehicle accidents have an estimated $594 billion price tag. The actual cost of these collisions is equal to $277 billion.
Officials analyzed the data they collected to give Americans a thorough depiction of exactly what the numbers listed above mean. They discovered that lost productivity amounted to $93 billion, property damage was equal to $76 billion, medical expenses amounted to $35 billion, and the impact of traffic-related congestion was equal to $28 billion.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC also participated in this study. They examined data from 2012 and reported that 63 people were killed in car crashes each day. This is equal to nearly 23,000 deaths.
Treatment of non-fatal injuries alone was extremely expensive in 2012. That year, 2.5 million motor vehicle accident victims needed to be treated in an emergency room. According to the CDC, their medical costs are expected to amount to $8 billion over their lifetimes. Approximately 200,000 other victims were admitted to the hospital because of their injuries, and their lifetime medical costs were calculated to be equal to $10 billion.
The Causes of Traffic Accidents
The NHTSA’s report illuminated the three main reasons that so many traffic accidents occur. The first is the fact that so many people drive faster than the speed limit. This cost the economy $210 billion in accident-related expenses. The decision to drive after drinking alcoholic beverages is second on the list, and it cost the economy $199 billion. The third reason is distracted driving.
The Need for Further Intervention
Gwen Bergen of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control believes that the states can do more than they currently are to prevent car crashes and the injuries that result. The NHTSA agrees. This agency’s report ends by stating that seat belts kept 12,500 people alive and prevented 308,000 severe injuries. This saved everyone $69 billion in 2010.
Although Bergen praised the states for implementing some safety measures, she would like each state to encourage every driver and passenger to wear seat belts and use booster seats and car seats. She would also like to see measures in place that decrease the instances of drunken driving and increase the safety of teen drivers.
A shining example is the state of Minnesota. After implementing a primary seat belt law, Minnesota’s crash-related expenses decreased by $36 million.