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Study: Fatal car accidents cost $6 million each

According to a recent report from the American Automobile Association, the average financial cost of motor vehicle accidents has significantly increased in recent years. Despite the increase, however, most families who have lost loved ones in car accidents would likely agree that the true cost of a fatal car accident is immeasurable.

In a study of car crash data from 99 urban areas in New Jersey and throughout the country, AAA estimated that the average cost of a car accident resulting in a fatality or a life-threatening injury is $6 million per crash. In comparison, the average cost of an accident resulting in less severe injuries is approximately $126,000 per crash. The data studied is from 2009, the latest year for which information was available. This means that the cost of fatal crashes has likely increased even further in the two years since that data was collected.

In 2005, when AAA conducted the last study of this kind, the average cost of a fatal crash was found to be about $3.25 million, and the cost of an injury-only accident was $68,000. Researchers are not sure of the reason for the increase in cost.

The most recent study was conducted in an effort to raise awareness of traffic safety issues as Congress considers a long-term highway funding bill. "Right now, it's jobs, it's construction, it's economic growth that are being talked about," said Chris Plaushin of AAA. "This is part of our effort to bang the drum about safety."

If you have lost a family member in a fatal car accident, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: USA Today, "AAA: Fatal motor vehicle crash costs $6 million," Larry Copeland, Nov. 3, 2011

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