More than 2.5 million Americans went to the emergency room in 2012 because of injuries related to a motor vehicle crash, and 200,000 were hospitalized, according to new figures from the federal government.

Sergey Kolesnikov, ThinkStock

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said the numbers represent a pleasant drop compared to 10 years prior, but noted crashes on the nation's roads are still a big, and costly, problem.

Crash injuries in 2012, according to the report, totaled $18 billion in lifetime medical costs. Another $33 billion was added to the tab due to "lifetime work lost."

"On average, each crash-related emergency department visit costs about $3,300 and each hospitalization costs about $57,000 over a person's lifetime," the report stated.

To make a "dent" in the number of crashes and injuries, the CDC report suggested state-level changes are especially effective. Increased seat belt enforcement and sobriety checkpoints, upgraded child restraint laws and smarter teen driver systems were among the report's recommendations.

There were almost 400,000 fewer emergency room visits in 2012 compared to 2002, and approximately 5,700 fewer hospitalizations.