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Average cost of fatal car accidents grow

When car accidents occur the victims and their loved ones endure a great amount of emotional and financial stress. Fortunately, the legal system can help assess the responsibility and liability of car accidents in order to resolve the financial costs of car accidents. According to a new report by AAA, the financial costs of car accidents in Albany and in other parts of the country have nearly doubled over the last few years.

According to the auto club AAA, the average cost of a fatal car accident is around $6 million. The study used information from the Federal Highway Administration and car accident information from 99 urban areas to calculate its estimate. The report also estimated the cost of non-fatal car accidents with injuries. The average cost of a non-fatal car accident with injury is $126,000.

Eleven value components were used to determine the car accident cost estimates. The 11 components were property damages, medical costs, emergency services, lost earnings, lost time at work, vocational rehabilitation, travel delays, pain and lost quality of life, legal costs, administrative costs and loss of household activities.

The average cost of car accidents has almost doubled over the last six years. In 2005, the average cost of a fatal car accident was $3.24 million and the average cost of a car accident with injury but without death was $68,170.

The figures are a part of a study that compares the costs of car accidents to the cost of traffic congestion and was conducted to identify safety priorities. Congress is currently considering a long-term highway funding bill and the safety priorities identified in the report will be used to encourage spending priorities in the potential law.

AAA has recommended greater use of cable barriers to prevent crossover accidents, improved roundabouts and rumble strips. The improvements are meant to lessen the financial cost of car accidents.

Source: USA Today, "AAA: Fatal motor vehicle crash costs $6 million," Larry Copeland, Nov. 4, 2011

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