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Fatal Car Accidents Cost $6 Million, Plus Emotional Tolls

Each time there is a fatal car accident on any of Texas's roadways, each accident not only results in emotional costs but also millions of dollars in financial costs.

According to a report by AAA, it costs approximately $6 million in financial damages per fatal accident nationwide. The AAA based its estimates on data compiled by the Federal Highway Administration. This estimated figure includes property damage, lost earnings and time at work, medical costs, travel delays, cost of emergency services, administrative costs, legal costs and pain and suffering.

According to a sergeant with the Amarillo Police Department Crime Prevention Unit, "A fatal wreck can cost more because anytime you the accident will be a fatality or that there is a high likelihood of prosecution would be more resources applied."

The exact costs and resources do, of course, vary from accident to accident. Depending on the scope and location of the accident, the number of emergency personnel needed differs, as does the cost of these responders and their "man hours" spent on the scene.

A captain with the Amarillo Fire Department said that it costs about $1,050 to send one fire truck to a call. In cases of motor vehicle accidents, the department automatically sends two trucks - so that is $2,100 per auto wreck just to dispatch the fire department. And that cost is minor compared to the medical costs involved for those injured in such collisions, or the economic costs when a life is lost.

AAA's report also estimated costs for injury-only crashes to be around $126,000. While this number is considerably less, it is still significant. Traffic accidents cost everyone money - and the emotional costs are immeasurable.

Source: Connect Amarillo.com, "Study: Each fatal wreck costs on average $6 million," 11/4/11.

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