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Automotive Accidents

What is the Average Cost of a Car Accident? A Detailed Guide

Each year 1.3 million lives are lost due to car accidents, according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel.

It is also estimated that the average cost for each death in an auto accident is $1,130,000. This is a lot of money for anyone to pay, and that isn’t even all of it.

Car accidents can get very expensive and usually do. Depending on the severity of it, you could end up paying millions.

If you are wondering about the average cost of a car accident, keep reading this guide for important information you should know.

What Is The Average Cost of A Car Accident

In the United States alone, the cost of car accidents is about 230.6 billion each year. If you take that number and divide it up between every citizen in the U.S it amounts to a little over $700 a person. That’s quite a bit of money considering the bottom 20 percent of U.S earners have a median savings account balance of $600.

Between 20 to 50 million people are injured or disabled as a result of an auto accident each year. With that being said, the average cost for nonfatal disabling injuries is around $96,200.

Repairing your vehicle after an accident can also get very expensive. You have to consider how much the bodywork will cost and for less serious crashes, scratches and dings.

This doesn’t even take into account the other factors that are financially unrelated. A loss of a loved one or friend is worth more than money can buy.

Minor Accidents

Lets first take a closer look at how much a minor car accident can cost. An accident is considered minor when there are no physical injuries present and the damage to the vehicle is repairable.

Minor auto accidents typically end up costing between $200 and $1,000 depending on the severity of the accident. Minor fender benders or rear-end collisions usually cost between $100 to $500 but can depend on several factors.

A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded that during a low-speed collision when the bumpers do not line up can cost significantly more than if the bumpers of the vehicles were involved in a bumper to bumper collision. The study found that when an SUV traveling 10 MPH collided with a car, the total cost for repairs for both the vehicles was $2,995  to $7,444. However, When a car collides with an SUV, the damages were between $3,601 to $9,867.

Sometimes even when there isn’t an injury present, the cost can be deceiving. The costs to repair your vehicle alone can be enough to put you through serious financial hardship.

Serious Accidents

Serious auto accidents can be very hard on all parties involved. Injuries, car repairs, insurance, and even death can lead to significantly higher costs associated with the accident.

An accident is considered serious when there are physical injuries present or when the vehicle is left inoperable. The total cost for serious accidents is hard to average due to all the factors that vary on a case to case basis. Some of these factors include:

  • Insurance Premiums
  • Liability
  • Medical Expenses
  • Ability To Work
  • Property Damage
  • Out-Of-Pocket Expenses
  • Non-Economic Damages
  • And Legal Expenses

According to the National Safety Council, the total cost associated with these factors were:

  • Death – $1,659,000
  • Disabling – $96, 200
  • Evident – $27,800
  • Possible – $22,800
  • No Injury Observed – $12,200
  • Property Damage Only (cost per vehicle) – $4,500

They also added, on a per death basis, the cost of all motor vehicle crashes was $11,280,000.

Depending on the severity of the auto accident, the total cost associated could be hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. At this point, it is recommended to consult an auto accident attorney that can help you get back on track.

Auto Accident Type

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that about 10 million or more crashes go unreported each year. This can include minor accidents that were decided to be too minuscule to report or hit and runs.

There are many reasons someone could get in an accident in this day in age. While there are so many distractions all around us, it is important to keep in mind you are not the only one on the road. Many accidents are for reckless behavior and can be prevented.

Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of deaths in the U.S, with more than 100 people dying every day. With that being said, the following items are some of the different types of crashes that are being reported, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.


In 2018, there were 10,511 deaths caused by drunk driving. It is estimated that one-third of all auto accident fatalities involve drunk drivers. On average, over the past 10 years, more than 10,000 people have died each year in car crashes involving drunk driving.

One person was killed in a drunk driving crash every 50 minutes in the United States in 2018.

A first-time offense for driving while impaired can cost up to $10,000.


According to a study, 20 percent of nighttime weekend drivers tested positive for drugs. The use of two or more drugs, including alcohol can amplify the effects of each drug and can severely impair coordination, judgment, and reaction times.

There has been a 48 percent increase in the past 10 years of drivers that tested positive for marijuana.

Distracted Driving

2,841 people were killed in 2018 due to distracted driving. This includes 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians, and 77 bicyclists.

You are not only putting yourself in danger when driving distracted but people all around you as well. State and local police have been trying to crack down and enforce laws to help protect people from distracted drivers. One of their biggest campaigns is called the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. that happens every April.

Seat Belts

More and More people are understanding the importance of wearing a seat belt. In 2019, the national seat belt usage rate was up to 90.7 percent. It is estimated that seatbelts saved a total of 14,955 lives in 2017.

The consequences of not wearing a seatbelt couldn’t be any more clear. In 2017, of the 37,133 people killed in car crashes, 47 percent were not wearing a seat belt.

For More Information on Car Accidents

It is important to understand when you are behind the wheel that it is not only your life at stake but others all around you as well. It is against the law to drive while impaired, distracted, or without a seatbelt. Following these few guidelines can help save lives and save you money as well.

For more information on the average cost of a car accident and other helpful information, check out our blog!