$1 trillion

That’s a lot of money and that’s the economic toll every year in the United States from motor vehicle crashes.

A recent study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2010 there were 32,999 fatalities, 3.9 million non-fatal injuries and 24 million damaged vehicles.

The Los Angeles Times reports that “Drunk driving alone, the report said, accounted for 18% of the total economic loss from motor vehicle crashes, costing the economy as much as $199 billion in direct and quality-of-life losses.

Speeding accounted for 21% of the total economic loss, responsible for as much as $210 billion in costs.

Distraction contributed another 17%.”

But the report does show that driving today is actually safer than in the past. “In 2011, 32,367 people died in U.S. automobile accidents, the lowest rate since 1949. Fatality rates per vehicle miles traveled fell in 2011 to 1.1 fatality per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down from 1.11 in 2010. In 1949, when there were fewer people driving cars that were much less safe to drive, the fatality rate was seven times higher.”

And we worry when we get in a airplane.

Jan

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