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Car wrecks cost the United States $41 billion annually in medical expenses and lost hours of work and economic productivity. If that wasn’t bad enough, out of all 50 states, 10 account for half of the $41 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means 50 percent of the losses are attributable to only 20 percent of U.S. states. Of those states, North Carolina (NC) is ranked sixth.

Here is the full top-10 list: 1. California ($4.16 billion)
2. Texas ($3.50 billion)
3. Florida ($3.16 billion)
4. Georgia ($1.55 billion)
5. Pennsylvania ($1.52 billion)
6. North Carolina ($1.50 billion)
7. New York ($1.33 billion)
8. Illinois ($1.32 billion)
9. Ohio ($1.23 billion)
10. Tennessee ($1.15 billion)

How can North Carolina get off this list? Tthe CDC offered these suggestions for saving lives and money:

  • Reform primary seat belt laws and make sure the state has a strong child-passenger safety policy (i.e., require child booster seats).
  • Enact comprehensive graduated driver licensing, or GDL, systems
  • Require helmets for all motorcycle riders — drivers and passengers.

Another issue that many states, including North Carolina, are grappling with is texting while driving. This safety issue could be another contributing factor to the high costs of car wrecks throughout the country. Our firm has written a special consumer report about distracted driving and sensible safety tips all drivers could use.


About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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