New Data

Study: 69 million breakdowns have $41 billion economic impact each year in the U.S.

Each year there are 69 million vehicle breakdown events in the U.S. alone.

Photo by Getty Images

Has your car ever broken down? You are not alone. Agero, one of largest providers of driver assistance software and services, has announced the findings of a recent study that showed that there are 69 million breakdowns each year in the U.S. alone. That's the equivalent to one in every three drivers.

Altogether, those breakdowns have a $41 billion impact on the economy. Aergo asked a number of questions as it analyzed the gathered data including:

  • Besides the roadside and tow operator service costs, what is the financial impact of all the time that drivers spend dealing with their car when they were planning on being at work or picking up their children from school?
  • What about the time other drivers lose when they are sitting in traffic behind a stuck car?
  • How much does it cost to repair the car, or buy a new tire or battery once the car is off the road?
  • When hundreds of service providers and drivers are injured or killed on the side of the road after breakdowns, what is the cost to our society of the medical bills and the loss of life?

Here is what they learned.

The cost of breakdowns in the U.S. is more than the combined salaries of every household in Miami, Orlando, New Orleans, and St. Louis, combined, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. It averages about $315 per American household, which is the equivalent of the GDP of Bolivia, as calculated by the International Monetary Fund.

The annual cost of roadside assistance is $7 billion. Forty-one tow company workers were killed on the job in 2017 and 980 were injured according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

tow truck operator Ford Escape Nearly 1,000 tow truck drivers were injured on the job in 2017. Photo by Getty Images

What do breakdowns mean for U.S. businesses? There are 30 million lost workdays each year due to breakdowns alone, which results in a $9 billion impact to drivers and businesses.

Each year, 150 million people spend 120 million hours sitting in traffic jams caused by breakdowns.

The human cost of a breakdown is startling, and yet another reason for drivers to give plenty of clearance space when they approach a breakdown on the road. More than 700 drivers are killed per year while trying to resolve a breakdown according to numbers from the Governors Highway Safety Association, Center for Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The economic of those injuries and fatalities is $8 billion.

Americans pay $15 million in repair costs annually from breakdowns.

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A limited number of these high-end GT-R models will be for sale in 2020.

Photo courtesy of Italdesign

The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign customer model won't be displayed in public at an auto show until March but Nissan is giving enthusiasts a look at the prototype at, 2019 NISMO Festival, Nissan Crossing in Tokyo's Ginza district in December, and at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January. Ahead of those events, the Japanese automaker has released new photography of the sports car.

"Designers dream of creating from a blank canvas, but with GT-R, it is a canvas that has been shaped by an adventurous history, a heart powered by NISMO, and a soul reflecting 50 years of dreams of engineers, designers, artisans, developers, racers and leaders," said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of global design at Nissan. "The best of Japan and Italy combined with help from our California and London studios are painting on the best canvas any designer can possibly have!"

Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign

Photo courtesy of Nissan

Nissan is currently accepting orders for the limited edition model.

Nissan collaborated with Turin, Italy-based Italdesign to create the model, which is based on the latest Nissan GT-R NISMO. Each of the GT-R50 by Italdesign models has a NISMO-tuned, hand-built, 720-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6.

Nissan reports that customer demand for the production version of the car has been strong, with a number of deposits already taken across the globe. Just 50 reservations will be taken.

In Japan, customers can now purchase a GT-R50 by Italdesign through SCI Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of VT Holdings, which has been appointed official importer and distributor for these exclusive cars in the country.

Those interested in the GT-R50 by Italdesign can visit www.GT-R50.nissan or contact Italdesign directly at aporta.gtr50@italdesign.com.

For inquiries in Japan, contact justin.gtr50@vt-holdings.co.jp.

Deliveries of the car begin in late 2020. Subject to certification and homologation, customers can expect to get behind the wheel of their personalized Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign sometime between late 2020 and the end of 2021.

Soon, you'll be able to drive away from McDonald's with your coffee in a Ford car made from the fast food giant's leftovers.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

I'm lovin' it! Ford Motor Company and McDonald's are teaming up to recycle the millions of pounds of coffee chaff leftover from the fast food giant's food service. The automaker and its suppliers will use the chaff in the creation of various auto parts, including headlamp housings and hood components.

The chaff is the skin of the coffee bean that naturally comes off during the roasting process. The companies found that they could convert the chaff info a durable material that can be used to safely reinforce vehicle parts.

Ford Motor Company McDonald's Ford Motor Company and McDonald's will soon be giving vehicles a caffeine boost by using part of a familiar staple in the morning routine, coffee beans, in vehicle parts such as headlamp housing.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

This isn't the first time that Ford has used recycled materials in their vehicles. A few years ago the company was touting its use of tomato skins and soy in the Ford Mustang.

How does it work? The chaff is heated to high temperatures under low oxygen conditions. Then plastic and other additives are added in turning the product into pellets. Those pellets are then formed into various shapes.

The new components created using the chaff-based compound are 20 percent lighter and require 25 percent less energy during the molding process.

"McDonald's commitment to innovation was impressive to us and matched our own forward-thinking vision and action for sustainability," said Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader, sustainability and emerging materials research team. "This has been a priority for Ford for over 20 years, and this is an example of jump starting the closed-loop economy, where different industries work together and exchange materials that otherwise would be side or waste products."

McDonald's is expected to direct a significant portion of its coffee chaff in North America to Ford to be incorporated into vehicle parts. Other involved companies include Varroc Lighting Systems, which supplies the headlamps, and Competitive Green Technologies, the processor of the coffee chaff.

"Like McDonald's, Ford is committed to minimizing waste and we're always looking for innovative ways to further that goal," said Ian Olson, senior director, global sustainability, McDonald's. "By finding a way to use coffee chaff as a resource, we are elevating how companies together can increase participation in the closed-loop economy."

They're not stopping there. McDonald's and Ford are continuing to find new ways to collaboratively use waste as a resource, while furthering their respective sustainability goals.