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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The lifetime medical cost of motor vehicle crash injuries is $18.4 billion

Key Points

  • In 2012, an estimated 2,519,471 emergency department visits resulting from nonfatal crash injuries occurred in the United States, with 7.5% of these visits resulting in hospitalization, accounting for an estimated 1,057,465 hospitalization days in 2012.
  • The estimated total lifetime medical cost of nonfatal crash injuries was $18.4 billion (in 2012 dollars), consisting of $7.7 billion among patients treated and released from the emergency department and $10.7 billion among hospitalized patients.
  • Teens and young adults aged 15–29 years account for 21% of the population but accounted for 38% of the costs for patients treated and released for crash injuries.
  • Primary seatbelt laws, child passenger restraint laws, ignition interlocks to prevent alcohol impaired driving, publicized sobriety checkpoints, and graduated driver licensing systems for teens all have shown effectiveness to reduce crash injuries and fatalities. To date, no state has implemented all of these safety measures in accordance with evidence and expert recommendation.

FIGURE 1. Percentage of emergency department visits for nonfatal crash injuries among motor vehicle occupants that result in hospitalization, by age group — National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, United States, 2012

The figure above is a bar chart showing the percentage of emergency department visits for nonfatal crash injuries among motor vehicle occupants that result in hospitalization, by age group, for the year 2012. Approximately 7.5% of persons overall were hospitalized; adults aged ≥80 years had a significantly higher hospitalization rate (33%) than all other age groups except for person aged 70–79 years.The figure above is a bar chart showing the percentage of emergency department visits for nonfatal crash injuries among motor vehicle occupants that result in hospitalization, by age...

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