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The Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries: An Evidence-Based Analysis

“Accidents—you never have them till you’re having them.” - Eeyore” - Disney Book Group, Christopher Robin: The Little Book of Pooh-isms: With help from Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, and Tigger, too!

There are several main consequences of the industrialisation that have made a significant impact on the way we live. And, they will continue to have an outcome on the way we go about our daily business. Succinctly stated, the industrialisation and mechanisation of most income-generating activities have increased our productivity levels and increased the speed at which our lives pass by.

The primary development of the automobile is attributed to the Second Industrial Revolution, which began in 1870. The first motor vehicle patent was patented in 1886 by German inventor, Karl Benz. As time passed, advancements in the development of the automobile until the modern iteration that is currently on the world's roads.

In summary, the primary motor vehicle developments have been in the arena of speed versus fuel economy. And, because of the potential for a maximum speed of between 250 and 270 miles per hour, speed versus fuel economy needs to be moderated by the need for vehicle-occupant safety.

Because, the greater the top-line speed of a motor vehicle, the greater the need to provide a safe environment that will protect the driver and passengers in event of an accident. Unfortunately, there is also an increased risk of an accident occurring the faster the car is traveling, especially when travelling around sharp bends.

The economic consequences of car accident-related injuries

Unfortunately, the latest iteration of the automobile is not solely responsible for injuries like whiplash that are a consequence of the car accident. It would seem as though drivers, and pedestrians have become more selfish and self-centred; thus, increasing the risk of being the cause of an accident.

An article published on the Science Daily website titled “Individualistic Practices and Values Increasing Around the World” shows that along with the manifestation of individualism comes an increase in narcissism.

The dictionary definition of narcissism (or Narcissistic Personality Disorder) defines the term as “a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration... and a lack of empathy for others.”

In simple terms, a combination of motor vehicles that are capable of a higher top-line speed and an increase in the average driver’s narcissistic behaviour leads to the increased number of motor vehicle accidents.

The latest World Health Organisation statistics show that, in the USA, per annum, over 37 000 people died in road accidents, circa 2.35 million people are injured or disabled, and the total cost of these road accidents is about $230.6 billion (USD) per year.

The latest USA Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as quoted by is $21.338 trillion (USD). The GDP growth rate year-on-year is only 2.1%. The debt to GDP ratio is 103%. And the GDP per capital (the estimated cost of living) is $57 800. Another way to look at the cost of motor vehicles accidents is to look at the cost per person living in the USA. And, this figure is circa $820 per person per annum.

Even though the annual road accident cost versus the total GDP is only 1.08%, it is just over 50% of the year-on-year growth rate. Also, the cost of the long-term disabilities caused by motor vehicle accidents have not been quantified. This is not only an annual expense as serious injuries will take victims out of the labour market. And, the state will have to provide for them in the form of a disability grant for the rest of their lives.

Final words

The quotation mentioned above is a direct reference to the fact that accidents are not intended. They are accidental. And, because no one wants to cause an accident, it most often occurs without notice. And, the victims find themselves in the middle of a crash during the aftermath of the accident.

Therefore, as a motor vehicle driver, it is vital to be cognisant of the dangers of driving negligently and recklessly. In short, it can cost the lives of both yourselves and other vehicle inhabitants on the roads.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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