Costs: Lives and Dollars
Motorists who don't buckle up are costing the public plenty. By maintaining a safety belt usage rate of 85 percent, New Yorkers will save an estimated 148 lives and more than $400 million dollars every year.
Unbuckled crash victims suffer injuries requiring an average of $5,000 more in inpatient hospital costs than do those who wear safety belts. Those additional costs are paid for by all of us, through higher insurance rates, Medicare and Medicaid.
A public health issue
Although traffic safety is seldom seen as a public health issue, only cancer and heart attack claim more American lives. Traffic crashes are the:
- Leading cause of death for people ages 6 to 27
- Leading cause of on-the-job fatalities
- Third leading cause of death for all Americans.