Montana Department of Transportation

Buckle Up: Calculating the Cost

Crashes cost us billions

Nationally, motor vehicle crashes cost employers over $60 billion annually in medical care, legal expenses, property damage, and lost productivity.

The estimated cost of one fatality on Montana’s roads is over $1.3 million dollars in medical costs and loss of productivity (Centers for Disease Control, Montana Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths: Costly but Preventable).

Crashes drive up the cost of benefits such as workers compensation, Social Security, and private health and disability insurance.

$35 million annually in MT

Each year in Montana, an estimate of 887 unbelted individuals are hospitalized following a motor vehicle crash. A significant portion of hospital costs for Montana’s unbelted occupants are ultimately paid for by the state.

Caring for these patients who didn’t buckle up cost over $35 million each year on emergency department encounters and inpatient hospital admissions for injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes. (2012-2014 Montana Emergency Department and Hospital Discharge Data)

These costs result from:

  • More hospital admissions
  • Higher costs per hospital stay
  • Costs for emergency care

The good news is that research conducted in recent years shows that many of the injuries and associated costs are preventable with seat belt use.

Dollar bill

Deaths and injuries prevented. Costs lowered.

It's estimated that even a modest 10% increase in seat belt use would save Montanans $22.5 million in health care costs. Montana state government could save an estimated $8.6 million...

EMPLOYERS: Calculating the Cost | Safety From the Top | What about the Law?