WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Crashes Cost D.C. Area $7.4 Billion Yearly

Play associated audio
Esther Simpson: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estherase/24513484/

Triple-A Mid-Atlantic says traffic crashes on local roads cost the region $7.4 billion a year -- that's nearly twice as much as the economic burden traffic congestion places on the region.

They commissioned a study that looked at the number of annual crashes in the area combined with the Federal Highway Adminsitration's data on the comprehensive cost of traffic crashes -- considering factors such as medical and emergency services, lost earnings, property damage and diminished quality of life to come up with their figure. Even though the number of crashes continues to decrease, AAA says the overall cost has been increasing at a rapid rate, thanks largely to the rising costs of health care. 

Triple-A mid-Atlantic spokesman John Townsend says leaders in D.C., Maryland and Virginia all need to take a closer look at traffic safety numbers and pass stricter traffic safety laws. Townsend says Graduated Drivers License laws, which phase in driving privileges for teenagers as they learn to drive, are a good place to start. They also advocate for stricter rules and penalties for distracted driving. 

In 2009 -- the most recent year in which data is available -- there were more than 42,000 injuries on D.C. area roads, with 350 fatalities reported. Though the number of traffic fatalities has been decreasing in recent years, traffic crashes remain the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. 


'If They Have It, It's Undeniable': Lorne Michaels On Casting 'SNL'

The Saturday Night Live executive producer says criticism of the show's perceived lack of diversity frustrated him, but that the perception needed to be addressed.

Chef Paul Prudhomme Will Live On Through His Restaurants, Spices And Books

Chef Paul Prudhomme has died at the age of 75. He revolutionized Cajun and Creole cuisine and popularized it throughout the world, creating a craze for "blackened" everything.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - October 9, 2015

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe joins Kojo and Tom Sherwood in the studio.


Beyond The 'Like' Button: Facebook Comes To Our Emotional Rescue

Facebook reveals new emojis it's testing to expand the iconic "Like" button. All Tech Considered welcomes a new host, who tries to explain her vision for the blog using Facebook's seven "Reactions."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.