The UK economy lost close to £15 billion last year as a result of road traffic accidents, new figures show.
According to the Department for Transport each fatality caused by a crash in 2013 cost the country £1.74 million.
The overall cost of fatal road accidents – plus those in which people where injured or property damage were caused – came to a total of £14.7 billion.
The figure includes £4.71 billion in damage to vehicles and property; £1.92 billion in loss of output; £471 million in ambulance and medical costs; £213 million in costs to the police and £139 million in admin and insurance costs.
Accident injury advice
However, the largest share of the overall cost to the economy was the £7.26 billion lost in ‘human costs’, in terms of distress to victims and their families after accidents.
Contact Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone if you have been injured in a road accident to find out whether you could make a car crash claim.
Although still a massive figure, the £14.7 billion cost of road accidents in 2013 was 3% lower than the amount estimated to be lost during the previous 12 months.
Rise in motorway deaths
The number of deaths on Britain’s roads last year was the lowest since records were first compiled in 1926. The 1,713 fatalities was 2% less than the figure for 2012, but there was a rise in the number of deaths on motorways, the first for eight years.
Edmund King, the president of the AA believes rising volumes of traffic are only part of the explanation for the increase. He says it is vital that the motoring industry discovers what other factors had a negative effect on motorway safety.
There is also a significant problem with accidents involving motorcycles, according to Neil Greig, the director of policy research for the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
He says more rider training is needed to improve their skills and change their attitudes to prevent deaths and serious injuries.
The road safety charity Brake says the number of deaths is not falling fast enough for its liking. Its deputy chief executive, Julie Townsend, says the only acceptable number of deaths on UK roads is none at all and the country is decades away from that.