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What Is the Social Cost of Car Accidents?

Unlike financial costs, social costs associated with car accidents are often hard to quantify and are rarely discussed.

st. louis woman depressed after car accident

People often think of car accidents in terms of the economic costs associated with them, such as medical bills, property repairs, and lost wages. However, in addition to these financial costs, car accidents also have significant social costs. Unfortunately, unlike financial costs, social costs are often hard to quantify and are rarely discussed. Below, we’ll explore the social cost of car accidents.

Lives Ended Too Soon

Accidents are the leading cause of death among young Americans aged 1 to 37. One of the most tragic and devastating realities of car accidents is that, too often, precious lives are cut short before their full potential can be realized. 

Whether it’s a lifelong dream that remains unfulfilled, a family left without a loved one, or a career that never had a chance to blossom, the loss of so many young lives to fatal car accidents can have an immeasurable social cost. 

Disruption and Inconvenience to The Family and Friends

The repercussions of an accident can be felt for days, weeks, or even months after the incident. This is especially true for the family and friends of accident victims. The family or friends of the victim may often have to put their own lives on hold while they assist in managing the medical, legal, and financial issues that can arise from an accident. 

They may also be forced to take on extra duties to compensate for the victim’s absence, such as taking care of children and pets, managing the household, and providing emotional support to the victim’s family. 

In more extreme cases, the family and friends of the victim may have to relocate to another area to be closer to the victim or to provide emotional and practical support to the victim’s family. This disruption and inconvenience can be extremely difficult to manage and can have a lasting impact on the lives of all those involved.

Psychological Trauma for Victims and Their Loved Ones

Car accidents can also come with expensive psychological costs for the victims and their loved ones. Psychological trauma experienced by car accident victims can be long-lasting and debilitating, significantly impacting their quality of life. Victims of car accidents may experience post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and fear. They can develop a fear of driving, which can lead to them avoiding activities that involve getting in a car, such as going to work or visiting family. 

Loved ones of car accident victims can also experience psychological trauma, as they may feel guilt, grief, and a sense of loss. They may have difficulty sleeping, have difficulty concentrating or develop feelings of anger or depression. In some cases, the psychological trauma of a car accident can be so severe that the victim may need ongoing counseling and therapy to manage their emotions.

As you can see, car accidents don’t only result in economic costs but also a wide range of social costs. From lives ending too soon to disruption and inconvenience to families and friends and psychological trauma for victims and their loved ones, these social costs are often overlooked. It’s important that we all do our part to ensure that extensive measures are taken to reduce the number of car accidents and the devastating costs that come along with them.

St. Louis Car Accident Attorney

Have you been involved in a car accident? We can help. Our St. Louis car accident attorneys have 25 years of experience and have the knowledge and resources to help you determine the true value of your claim. Give us a call 24/7 to learn more about your legal rights after a car accident.


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Updated: December 12, 2022