With all of the traffic in our area, accidents are bound to happen. But a new study has put a number on the cost of traffic accidents in the Washington metro area.
According to the Washington Post, AAA found that everything from fender benders to fatal crashes cost $7.4 billion a year.
The number is derived from traffic statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and takes into account 350 traffic deaths and 42,566 injuries in 2009.
But, as the Post reports, accidents in our area actually cost less per capita than the nationwide average. Researchers found the average wreck in our area costs $1,363 compared to an average of $1,522 nationwide.
And we actually have our horrible congestion to thank for that. Because drivers in the metro area are forced to driver slower speeds, accidents tend to cause less damage and therefore fewer injuries and deaths.
“There is a silver lining,” AAA’s John Townsend II told the Post. “It doesn’t cost as much because we can’t go as fast.”
The Post reports the cost factored in not only medical and body shop bills but also used a set of sophisticated federal guidelines that place a value on a lost life, lost wages, time lost on the job and the effect on the quality of life.
The total cost of accidents nationwide was more than $300 billion.