Motor vehicle crashes cost American society $340 billion in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The agency’s new report, ‘The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2019,’ examines the costs of one year of crashes that killed an estimated 36,500 people, injured 4.5 million, and damaged 23 million vehicles.

“This report drives home just how devastating traffic crashes are for families and the economic burden they place on society,” said Ann Carlson, NHTSA’s Acting Administrator.

The $340 billion cost of motor vehicle crashes represents the equivalent of $1,035 for each of the 328 million people in the United State.

Those not directly involved in crashes pay for roughly three-quarters of all crash costs, primarily through insurance premiums, taxes, congestion-related costs such as lost time, excess fuel consumption, and increased environmental impacts.

The report includes new data on the total value of seat belt use. From 1975 to 2019, seat belt use saved 404,000 lives and prevented $17.8 trillion in societal harm.

The report also draws on data from a range of crashes, including ones that lead to property damage, serious injuries and fatalities. Data sources include NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, Crash Investigation Sampling System and the Crash Report Sampling System. Crashes not reported to the police, using consumer survey data, in-car observation techniques and a variety of other sources are also examined.