Injury costs from traffic crashes ‘substantial,’ CDC says

Atlanta – Nonfatal vehicle crash injuries result in “substantial” costs to individuals, employers and society, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC examined data on emergency department visits for nonfatal crash injuries in 2012 from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System – All Injury Program and the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project National Inpatient Sample. Researchers found the “lifetime cost” of work loss due to nonfatal crash injuries was about $32.9 billion in 2012.

About 1 percent to 2 percent of emergency department visits for crash injuries were work-related. Among work-related crash victims, 8 percent were hospitalized.

States, employers and people can avoid high medical costs by implementing safety practices such as primary safety belt laws, child passenger restraint laws and Graduated Driver Licensing systems for teens, the researchers suggest.

The report was published in CDC’s Oct. 7 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.