A Crash Course on the Social Cost of Car Accidents: 5 Lasting Effects

If there’s one thing that seasoned motorists and teen drivers can both relate to, it’s that accidents can take you by surprise. You could be on your daily commute or a quick trip to the grocery store when someone who isn’t paying attention rear-ends you, backs into you, or blows through a red light.

With how common car accidents are, you may even feel minor relief from the idea that it was bound to happen at some point. But what if it weren’t? Preventing a seemingly inevitable car accident is not only possible, but it’s also vital for your quality of life.

Motor vehicle accidents can have lasting negative impacts on our health, career, and finances. Here are some of the most common detrimental effects of getting in a car accident and what you can do to prevent them from happening to you.

How to prevent car accidents

The optimal way of avoiding the negative consequences of car crashes is to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. You can do your part by decreasing distractions, like texting or being on your phone, as well as utilizing safe driving practices.

If you want to take your driving skills to the next level, signing up for an online defensive driving course is another option. When you learn how to drive defensively, you will know how to anticipate and react appropriately to the actions of other drivers. If you have local speed racers and impatient commuters, defensive driving can help you mitigate the risk of getting caught up in an accident. That way, you can swerve around the long-term social impacts of fender-benders and T-bone accidents mentioned below.

Quality of life impacts

When thinking about the detrimental consequences of a car wreck on your health, major accidents and totaled cars usually come to mind. The unfortunate truth is that even minor fender benders can cause lasting impacts on your wellbeing. Whiplash, concussion, and back or spinal cord injuries are common injuries that result from car accidents, and all can have lingering effects. The headaches, anxiety, and pain may require you to file for disability, lose out on days of work, and impair your ability to function in your day-to-day life.

Long-term care

The medical consequences of car accidents may require you to receive long-term medical care, which can be costly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also known as the CDC, stated that the average lifetime medical costs of car accidents in 2012 were $18 billion. Traveling to and from the doctor’s office, as well as attending each appointment, ends up eating away at your personal time.

Steeper insurance costs

Preventing accidents from happening and subsequent higher insurance premiums is a team effort, but not everyone wants to play nice. Whether or not you caused the accident or were the victim of reckless driving, you run the risk of raising the cost of your insurance. Not only that, but insurance premiums can increase across the entire country if accidents continue to rise. By doing what’s within your power to prevent an accident, you and your community will reap the financial benefits.

Court expenses

Motor vehicle accidents, whether civil or criminal, flood the court system and deplete its resources. DUI, personal injury, traffic court, and even wrongful death cases take up time and money. You may be fighting for medical and property costs associated with your accident to be covered, but paying legal fees upfront can be expensive. Holding court and paying court employees is a drain on the resources of our legal system. By preventing crashes from occurring, court employees have more time to attend to other pressing cases, speeding up an otherwise sluggish timeline.

Final thoughts

Car accidents are an all too common occurrence that plague the streets. While it’s unfortunate that the onus falls on individuals to make up for the dangerous driving of others, doing what you can to prevent an accident is highly beneficial. Saving on the court, medical, and insurance expenses, as well as having a better quality of life, are all within your power. By limiting your distractions and brushing up on your defensive driving skills, the streets will be a safer place.