CDC Says California Is Tops in Fatal Crash Costs

The Centers for Disease Control recently published a list of the states with the highest cost of fatal motor vehicle crashes. California has the dubious distinction of being first on the list — and as lawyers who represent those impacted by serious accident, we know full well the costs to victims of these tragedies as well as to their families.

The total estimated cost of these accidents in $41 billion — and half this cost is from only ten states. California’s $4.16 billion in costs for medical and work losses exceeds all other states. We are followed by Texas, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

The findings were based on data from 2005 — the most recent available. The reason for the high costs is not explained in the findings, but it is clear that the costs of fatal crashes is very significant and in the opinion of the CDC, preventable. The CDC has issued some safety recommendations along with the findings.

The CDC noted that nearly $856 million in costs were associated with crash deaths of children and teens. Recommending compliance with child safety laws and graduated licensing laws as a way to lower fatalities for children and teens, the CDC is urging states to “strengthen and enforce these laws … to protect young lives.”

Four recommendations were made overall to bring the medical and work loss costs down: 1) primary seat belt laws are in place, but need to be enforced because they are proven to lower the risk of death; 2) child passenger safety is critical to the safety of young passengers; 3) graduated licensing for teens has also been shown to lower risks by 40% the risk of teen car crashes for drivers who are 16 years of age; and 4) the use of motorcycle helmets and laws requiring them, have a major impact of saving lives reducing deaths by one-third and the risk of brain injury by nearly 70 percent.

As California personal injury lawyers, Hersh & Hersh has represented the families of victims of fatal car crashes on behalf of their deceased loved ones. If your family has suffered such a tragedy, please contact our offices for a free consultation with one of our experienced trial lawyers. We are here to help you and your family.