In the US, car accidents claim a life every 12 minutes. In 2011 alone, wrecks on the road cost the lives of over 32,000 people – a high number to be sure, lower than any year since 1949 and a full 24 percent decrease from 2005. Auto accidents are the leading cause of death among teens, adding up to more than homicide, suicide and medical complications combined. Those most at risk are males, who are twice as likely to die in car crashes than females. Sadly, more than 50% of teens killed in car accidents were not wearing their seatbelts.

This infographic presents more statistics about the social and economic costs of car accidents, which total as much as $300 billion in medical and emergency costs, lost earnings, property damage and reduced quality of life each year. Interestingly, states in the Northeast – Washington, DC, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and New Jersey – have the fewest number of car crash deaths per year: between four and six per 100,000 people. The states with the highest? Alabama, Montana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Wyoming, with 18 – 28 deaths per 100,000.

One of the most common causes of deadly car accidents? Distracted driving. According to the infographic, distracted driving, which includes mental, visual or manual distraction, accounts for 15 deaths every day. Texting while driving, which is already illegal in many states, increases your chances of being involved in a car accident by 2300%. Check out the infographic below presented by Car Insurance Quotes for more information about the cost of auto accidents, both human and economic.

From: Bankrate Insurance’s CarInsuranceQuotes.com