THE COSTS OF HIGHWAY CRASHES. FINAL REPORT

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