Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Costs of Autoism: 2.5 Million trips to the ER and $18 Billion each Year

Maybe you will say that it was a slow news day, but it is interesting to note that of the first three pages in the paper this morning, two are devoted nearly full page to the tragic aftermath of automobile crashes.

Page three on survivors

Front page on one who perished
It's more than 30,000 dead each year. The Center for Disease Control says,
More than 2.5 million people went to the emergency department (ED) – and nearly 200,000 of them were hospitalized – because of motor vehicle crash injuries in 2012, according to the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lifetime medical costs for these crash injuries totaled $18 billion. This includes approximately $8 billion for those who were treated in the ED and released and $10 billion for those who were hospitalized. Lifetime work lost because of 2012 crash injuries cost an estimated $33 billion.

“In 2012, nearly 7,000 people went to the emergency department every day due to car crash injuries,” said CDC Principal Deputy Director Ileana Arias, Ph.D. “Motor vehicle crash injuries occur all too frequently and have health and economic costs for individuals, the health care system, and society. We need to do more to keep people safe and reduce crash injuries and medical costs.”
For each person who dies, eight are hospitalized
and 100 go to the ER
On top of $18 billion in medical care, that's $33 billion in lost wages. That's a lot of productivity, too, sucked out of our economy.

If something is dangerous and costly, rather than trying to do the same amount of it but a little safer, maybe a better approach to risk management is to do less of it.

Making it easy for people to choose not to drive should be at the center of the ways we make driving safer for those times when using a motor vehicle is truly the best transportation choice.

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Whoops! A reader points out it's $18 billion with a b, not million. Typo corrected.