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How Much Do Car Accidents Really Cost? NHTSA Issues Report

If you have ever been in a San Diego car accident, you know they can be costly. From medical bills to rental car fees to missed time from work, the expenses can add up quickly.

Overall, motor vehicle accidents resulted in $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm in 2010, according to a new report by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration(NHTSA). The hefty price tag includes $277 billion in economic costs and $594 billion in harm from the loss of life and the pain and decreased quality of life due to injuries.

The report examined crash data from 2010, which included 2,999 fatalities, 3.9 million non-fatal injuries, and 24 million damaged vehicles. The findings take into account productivity losses, property damage, medical and rehabilitation costs, congestion costs, legal and court costs, emergency services, insurance administration costs, and the costs to employers, among others

Below are a few other takeaways from the NHTSA report:

Drunk Driving: Crashes caused by impaired drivers accounted for 18 percent of the total economic loss due to motor vehicle crashes and cost the nation $49 billion, an average cost of $158 for every person in the U.S.

Speeding: Crashes involving drivers traveling over the posted speed limit or too fast for conditions accounted for 21 percent of the total economic loss and cost the country $59 billion, an average cost of $191 for every person in the U.S.

Distraction: Distracted driving accidents comprised 17 percent of the total economic loss and cost the country $46 billion, an average cost of $148 for every person in the U.S.

Pedestrians and Bicyclists: Crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists accounted for 7 percent of the total economic loss and cost the country $19 billion.

Seatbelts: In good news, seatbelt use prevented $69 billion in medical care, lost productivity, and other injury-related expenses. However, car accidents involving unsecured occupants still cost Americans $14 billion in 2010.