Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Societal benefit-cost analysis of three large truck safety technologies

Although research has found advanced safety technologies to be effective at preventing large truck crashes, limited empirical data exists regarding their cost effectiveness to the U.S. society. Without these data, carriers are hesitant to adopt costly technologies and government agencies are hesitant to create regulation mandating their use. The objective of this study was to provide scientifically-based estimates of the societal benefits and costs of large truck automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning (LDW), and video-based onboard safety monitoring (OSM). For each technology, benefit-cost analyses were performed for installing the technology on all large trucks (including retrofitting existing trucks) and for equipping new large trucks only. Sensitivity analyses examined three cost estimates (low, average, high; values technology-specific), two estimates of system efficacy (low and high; values technology-specific), and three discount rates (0%, 3%, 7%) for each technology. Equipping trucks with LDW and video-based OSM systems were found to be cost effective for all combinations of costs, efficacy, and discount rates examined, for both new and existing trucks. Results for AEB and were mixed. Only a $500 AEB system was cost effective when equipping new trucks and retrofitting existing trucks. However, all cost estimates were cost effective with a 28% efficacy rate when only equipping new large trucks. Overall, these data suggested all three technologies can be cost-effective for new large trucks provided the current costs and efficacy rates can be maintained or improved upon.


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  • Accession Number: 01684836
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 20 2018 3:05PM