In an environment where resources are scarce, decisions to spend more on safety or risk reduction need to be made on a rational basis. The assessment of such a situation must reflect the impact on society as a whole. When death and injury are involved the assessment, hence becomes very complicated. This paper discusses how societal cost models can assist in making these difficult decisions and an example is analysed based on train crashworthiness. A model is presented that links input engineering parameters such as velocity change with cost to the community of medical, legal and funeral costs as well as loss of productivity of the victim on the basis of injury and death. By the use of the Head Injury Criterion as the critical cost parameter, the need to cost out every type of injury is obviated. Published probability statistics relating to the levels of injury are combined with injury costs to provide a probability injury cost which when adjusted for the crash likelihood becomes the risk-adjusted societal cost. The model has immediate application in optimising the comparative passive safety values of crashworthiness devices. Indeed, the model presented can assess any incident where blunt injury is caused by the application of force. The model validity is confined to comparative use since the US dollar value is retained as published. However, with a suitable conversion rate that takes account of social differences as well as dollar size, there is scope to extend the model to absolute use. (A)

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Woodhead Publishing, Limited

    Abington Hall, Abington
    Cambridge,   United Kingdom  CB1 6AH
  • Authors:
    • BRELL, E
    • VAN ERP, G
    • SNOOK, C
  • Publication Date: 1999


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00793007
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: May 31 2000 12:00AM