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Crash-related costs average $41 billion per year

A recent analysis of the most recent crash data, from 2005, shows that there is an estimated $41 billion in medical and work loss expenses per year.

The study, which was released on Wednesday, was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gwen Bergen, a behavioral scientist with the CDC Injury Center, said concerning the estimated yearly motor vehicle accident costs, "By showing these costs, we can really highlight that these are younger people being killed and it results in a high loss of productivity to society."

Over 30,000 people die each year as a result of motor vehicle accidents, which are the leading cause of death among people between 5 and 34 years of age.

At the top of list of states with the highest annual costs California, then Texas, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, Illinois, Ohio and Tennessee. Almost half of the nation's crash-related death costs were borne by these 10 states.

The study also made recommendations for each state for the prevention of accident-related deaths. Among those were recommendations for stricter seat belt laws, graduated driver's license programs and requirements for child safety car seats for varying sizes and ages. Curfews for teenage drivers and limits on how many underage passengers are allowed to ride in a vehicle with a young driver were also among the recommendations, as well as primary seat belt laws.

Primary seat belt laws allow for police enforcement even where there is no other offense present.

Source: Reuters, "Study: $41 billion yearly losses due to crash-related deaths," Lauren Keiper, 11 May 2011.

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