What 10 Everyday Situations Are (Supposedly) Costing the Economy

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Thinkstock/Bryan Dugan

What happens when you consider the larger cost of everyday annoyances? Statistics! 

1. Hangovers

If you think you feel bad after a bender, consider the economy. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that hangovers cost the U.S. about $1.37 in lost productivity per drink, which adds up to more than $220 billion per year

2. Distracted driving

Is distracted the new drunk? According to the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study, haphazard multi-tasking on the road costs $3.58 billion per month in injuries, property damages, lawsuits, and more.

3. Delayed flights

A 2010 Federal Aviation Administration report claimed that delayed flights cost the U.S. economy $32.9 billion per year. The aggravation, however, can't be quantified.

4. Food poisoning 

According to a study out of Ohio State University, food poisoning costs more than $77 billion each year. Talk about eating a loss.

5. Sleep deprivation

You don't always lose when you snooze. Tired workers are a liability, and Harvard researchers estimate they cost U.S. companies $63.2 billion annually

6. Cold season

There's no such thing as a paid sick day. The University of Michigan put a $40 billion annual price tag on the common cold.

7. Looking for a bathroom

In 2012, the World Bank's Water and Sanitation Program attributed nearly $500 million in Africa's economic losses to not being able to find a clean, safe place to use the bathroom.

8. Daylight Saving Time

Springing forward each year doesn't just cost you sleep. It also leads to more workplace injuries, lower productivity, and even an increase in heart attacks. Chmura Economics & Analytics says it all adds up to about $433,982,548.

9. March Madness 

This one might not happen every day, but basketball fans—and economists—cried foul when the executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimated that March Madness costs U.S. businesses some $3.8 billion in worker productivity each year. 

10. Social media distractions

 Using sites like Twitter and Pinterest all day could cost the U.S. economy up to $650 billion—roughly $4,452 per company—in worker productivity. (Check out the Mashable infographic.) But don't worry, that won't keep these companies from asking you to Like them on Facebook.

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July 10, 2013 - 2:00pm
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