“I’d had a really bad car accident years ago, and basically, the ligaments in the back of my neck were ripped, and I’d never addressed that.” – Jennifer Grey
Have you recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident? If so, have you counted the cost of the accident?
The article titled “Average Cost of a Car Accident: How to Pay for It All” by Heather Skyler notes that car accidents cost the United States of America $230.6 billion every year. This translates into an average cost of $820 per US resident. Furthermore, between twenty and fifty million people per annum are injured or disabled in the USA.
Also, the quotation mentioned above by Jennifer Grey highlights the potential for physical damage that can occur as a result of being involved in a vehicle accident. Even minor injuries like whiplash can have long-term effects on the quality of life for the person injured.
Surviving a motor vehicle accident
Suffice to say, there is always a cost, monetary, emotional and physical, attached to a car crash, no matter how minor the accident is. At this juncture, it is vital to be cognisant of the fact that the monetary cost spans both the emotional and physical damage. Ergo, it costs money to attend to these two issues. And emotional trauma can occur without physical damage to the individual as well as the motor vehicle involved in the accident.
Therefore, let’s look at each of these costs to provide a solution that will help you manage the cost of the vehicle accident.
The financial cost
Not only are the motor vehicles involved in the accident damaged and will cost money to repair, but there will always be a monetary cost to the physical and emotional damage caused to the drivers and passengers of the vehicles.
The monetary value attributed to the accident depends on how serious the accident is. The more severe the accident, the higher the cost to repair the motor vehicles involved in the crash. This fact is also relevant to the cost of the physical damage to the people caught in the accident: the worse the injuries, the more extended the hospital stay, and the greater the rehab costs.
Finally, a monetary value needs to be attached to the cost of being so severely injured that the victims cannot go back to work and need to receive permanent disability benefits.
The physical cost
The speed at which all the cars involved in the accident are travelling plays a significant role in the seriousness of the physical injuries to the inhabitants of the vehicles.
If two cars are involved in a head-on collision, and each vehicle is travelling at 100 mph (miles per hour), the accumulated impact on the drivers and passengers is 200 mph. The force of the impact measured in Kilonewtons for a 165-pound person is 375kn. And, according to the online car crash calculator, it feels as though a 38.2-ton weight has hit the vehicle occupant. Best case scenario, in this case, is that the occupant will most likely be severely injured. And, worst-case scenario, each occupant will be killed as a result of the collision.
Therefore, the physical cost will either be severe, debilitating injures or loss of life.
According to MayoClinic.org, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as a “mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event.” It is a debilitating condition that affects people who have been involved in a traumatic event. Even though PTSD is most often spoken about in relation to returning war veterans, it is also highly probable that motor vehicle accident victims will develop PTSD as a consequence of the crash.
PTSD symptoms include continuing, intrusive memories of the incident, the avoidance of situations and places where the accident occurred, and negative mood swings that could ultimately lead to suicide.
Advances in modern psychiatric medicine and counselling methodologies have improved, and continue to improve, the quality of life for PTSD sufferers. Therefore, it is vital to see a trauma counsellor or medical specialist if you experience any of these symptoms.
From the body of this content, it is clear that the overall cost of a motor vehicle accident can be very severe to everyone involved in the crash. Unfortunately, the very fact that there are always many vehicles driving on public roads at the same time will always lead to a high risk of being caught in an accident, even if you are an innocent victim.
Thus, all road users need to be responsible and respectful of other road users all the time. In doing so, the vehicle accident risk will be substantially reduced.