Car and Truck Crashes Are Costly

June 2, 2014

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a report last week in which it was reported that the economic and societal harm from motor vehicle accidents amounted to $871 billion in 2010.

In 2010, there were almost 33,000 deaths, 3.9 million people were injured and 24 million motor vehicles damaged, as a result of car and truck crashes. Out of the estimated $871 billion economic and societal cost of car and truck accidents $277 billion was attributed to economic costs; that equals to an average of $900 for every person living in the United States. $594 billion included harm from loss of life, pain and decreased quality of life due to injuries from car and truck accidents.

The economic cost of $277 billion, in the U.S., means that is the equivalent to almost 2 percent of the United States gross domestic product. These factors included productivity losses, property damage, and cost of medical treatment, legal and court fees, emergency services and insurance administration and costs to employers. Nearly three quarters of these costs are paid through taxes and insurance premiums.

There are several behavioral factors that contributed to motor vehicle accidents, all of which can be avoided:

1) Driving while intoxicated/impaired by alcohol or other drugs;
2) Speeding;
3) Distracted driving, and;
4) Lack of seat belt use

Alcohol related driving accounted for $199 billion, in other words 23 percent of the $871 billion. Crashes involving speeding account for $210 billion or 24 percent, distracted driving accounted for $129 billion or 15 percent, and, lack of seat belt use accounted to $72 billion or 8 percent.

All of these factors could have been avoided and prevented by drivers. It is imperative that drivers realize that driving is a privilege and not a right, and, therefore; needs to be taken seriously. Not only is your life in your hands, but the lives of everyone on the road. Responsibility is a key factor. Every person on the road needs to be alert, knowledgeable of the rules of the road and conscience of their actions at all times. If we do all we can to be safe drivers, these economic and societal harms can and will be avoided and therefore; less costly to human life and our Nation as a whole

Online Vision Certification Service Award Given to the Maryland MVA

May 13, 2014

The StateScoop 50 has given the honor of the Innovation of the Year Award to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) for their Online Vision Certification Service. The honorees were chosen by its readers and were announced at a reception in Baltimore, Maryland, earlier this month. The StateScoop 50 organization recognizes and awards programs and/or individuals for their achievements and contributions to the state and local government IT community. Therefore, at the reception, the MVA was given the honor for their Online Vision Certification Service.

The Online Vision Certification Service was launched in 2013 with the intention to reduce branch office walk-in traffic and customer wait times. The service allows drivers to easily renew their licenses online. Before this program was implemented, drivers over the age of 40 had to visit their vision provider to complete a paper eye exam form and either mail it in or visit a branch office in order to renew their license, but with this new program, drivers over the age of 40 can take the vision test at a participating eye physicians office and the results are submitted electronically to the MVA, without having to make the driver either mail the test results form in or visit the MVA to renew their license. So drivers over the age of 40 have the ability to renew their license online.

There are over 600 provider locations that participate with this MVA Online Vision Certification Service Program. The list of all providers can be found by searching “vision” at www.maryland.gov or through the MVA’s website at www.mva.maryland.gov and clicking on the Online Vision Certification Service link.

Since being implemented, there have been well over 10,000 eye exam results submitted to the MVA. There is no extra cost to the providers to sign up for the service. All one needs is a computer and an internet connection. The program, was however, funded, by NIC Maryland, through the self-funded eGovernment services contract with the State Department of Information Technology (DoIT).

The NIC is the nation’s leading provider of official state government portals, online services, and secure payment processing solutions. NIC’s eGovernment service serves to help reduce costs and increase efficiencies for government agencies, citizens, and businesses across the United States. NIC provides eGovernment solutions for over 3,500 federal, state and local agencies nationwide.

2014 List of Top 10 Vehicles that Cause the Most Property Damage

April 29, 2014

Insure.com recently released the 2014 list of vehicles that cause the most property damage when involved in automobile accidents. The list is mainly comprised of pickup trucks and SUV’s. Vehicles that tend to weigh more than passenger vehicles. The vehicles on the list tend to generate the biggest property damage claims and therefore; carry the heftiest liability insurance bills of the more that 750 2014 model year vehicles analyzed by Insure.com in its annual car insurance comparison study.

The top 10 vehicles considered to carry the biggest liability bills and therefore are likely to cause the most property damage are:

1) Ford F-250
2) GMC Sierra 2500
3) Ford F-350
4) Ram 1500
5) Infiniti QX80
6) Dodge Durango
7) Toyota Tundra
8) Jeep Grand Cherokee
9) Cadillac Escalade
10) Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The property damage liability portion of a persons’ automobile insurance policy is generally a reflection of claims made against other owners of the same kind of vehicle. Property damage liability coverage pays when you damage someone else’s car or property. Most drivers carry much lower limits on property damage liability than for bodily injury, that way their insurance premiums can be lower/smaller.

Regardless of the vehicle you own, premiums can and do differ from state to state and vehicle to vehicle. The common element however, is that the vehicles that cause the biggest property damage are vehicles with bumpers that do not match up with the bumpers found on sedan, coupes or passenger cars.

It is the height difference in bumpers between vehicles that cause the greatest damage. The federal government sets minimum bumper performance requirements for passenger vehicles, but those regulations do not apply to vans, SUV’s or pickup trucks. Hence, SUV’s , vans and pickup trucks have bumpers that are anywhere between 20-26 inches higher from the ground then passenger vehicles. Passenger vehicles are usually only 16-20 inches higher than the ground. This means that when trucks and SUV’s collide with passenger vehicles, their bumpers can no right past each other, and depending on the force of the impact, can bypass the bumpers and go directly into the body of the vehicle and therefore; cause greater damage. Sometimes, bumpers overlap or even slide off each other, instead of becoming engaged, and therefore the result is extensive vehicle body damage.