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The Cost of Deaths from Motor Vehicle Crashes in Missouri – May 11, 2012

May 11, 2012

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recently released fact sheets outlining the costs associated from deaths from motor vehicle crashes by state.  Nationally, over 30,000 people are killed in accidents every year.  We often focus on the causes of those accidents and how they can be prevented because the financial and emotional costs of these tragedies is astronomical. In addition to the emotional pain and suffering experienced by loved ones, the CDC reports that each year these crashes result in 41 billion dollars in medical and work loss costs.

Half of these medical and work loss costs are concentrated in 10 states, not surprisingly, many with the largest populations:  California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, Illinois, Ohio and Tennessee.

The State of Missouri, with a population of 5.8 million, experiences medical and work loss costs of roughly 1.07 billion dollars per year.  That puts us at the top of our region, with Iowa experiencing costs of $388 million with a population of 2.9 million, Kansas with costs of $433 million with a population of 2.7 million and Nebraska experiencing costs of $245 million with a population of 1.8 million.

$673 million of Missouri’s medical and work related costs are incurred by motor vehicle occupants, $87 million by motorcyclists, $87 million by bicyclists and pedestrians deaths and $226 million in other non-specified road related accidents.

Work loss costs represent the total estimated salary, benefits and the value of household work that an average person – of the same age and sex as the person who died – would be expected to earn over the remainder of his or her lifetime.  Work loss costs are especially high for a younger person who’s life was tragically cut short before he or she could exercise their potential to contribute to the workforce for many years.

The costs used in the Missouri fact sheet came from CDC’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), which is an online, interactive system that provides reports of injury-related data.

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