In 1988, an estimated 14.8 million motor vehicle crashes involved 47,000 deaths and almost 5,000,000 injuries. More than 4.8 million years of life and functioning were lost. Crash costs totalled $334 billion. They included $71 billion in out-of pocket costs, $46 billion in wages and household production, and $217 billion in pain, suffering, and lost quality of life. Half of the out-of-pocket costs were property damage costs; the rest were medical, emergency services, workplace, travel delay, legal, and administrative costs. Employers paid 20% of the out-of-pocket and productivity costs. The general public paid 48%. People involved in crashes and their families paid the remainder and suffered the pain. The comprehensive costs presented here are appropriate for use in benefit-cost analysis. The costs/police-reported crash are $2,723,000/K-fatal, $229,000/A-incapacitating injury, $48,000/B-nonincapacitating injury, $25,000/C-possible injury, $4,500/O-property damage only (these crashes include injuries missed by the police), and $4,300/unreported crash. The most costly kinds of crashes include motorcycle, pedestrian, pedalcycle, alcohol-involved, and heavy truck. Minor rural collectors, local rural streets, and urban arterials are the most dangerous/vehicle-mile of travel (vmt). Motorcycles have safety costs of $2.14/vmt, buses $.24/vmt, heavy trucks $.19/vmt, light trucks $.16/vmt, and cars $.12/vmt. In nonfatal collisions involving only occupants, the most harmful events with the highest cost/injury involve, in order: trees, overturns, other fixed objects, and utility poles.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Urban Institute

    2100 M Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20037

    Federal Highway Administration

    Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, 6300 Georgetown Pike
    McLean, VA  United States  22101
  • Authors:
    • Miller, T
    • Viner, J
    • Rossman, S
    • Pindus, N
    • Gellert, W
    • Douglass, J
    • Dillingham, A
    • Blomquist, G
  • Publication Date: 1991-6

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 152 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00611019
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-RD-91-055, U.I. 3525, 42-30-5009
  • Contract Numbers: DTFH61-85-C-00107
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1991 12:00AM