MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATING AND ACCIDENT COSTS AND BENEFITS ARISING FROM THEIR REDUCTION THROUGH ROAD IMPROVEMENT

THE ACCURATE COST OF HIGHWAY ACCIDENTS IS DETERMINED BY 3 FACTORS: THE NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS, THE AVERAGE ACCIDENT SEVERITY, AND THE UNIT MONETARY VALUE OF THE LOSSES WHETHER BY DEATH, INJURY OR PROPERTY DAMAGE. THIS DISCUSSION DEALS PRIMARILY WITH THE DETERMINATION OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATING AND ACCIDENT COST VALUES THAT ARE PERTINENT TO ANALYSIS OF HIGHWAY BENEFITS AND WITH THE REDUCTION OF THESE COSTS WHICH CAN BE ACHIEVED THROUGH HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT. THE BENEFIT TO USERS OF HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS EQUALS THE COST OF OPERATION ON THE ROAD IF IT IS NOT IMPROVED LESS THE COST, IF IT IS IMPROVED. A FORMULA IS GIVEN TO EXPRESS THIS BENEFIT. THE DETERMINATION OF ANNUAL BENEFIT REQUIRES THAT FOUR VALUES BE KNOWN FOR EACH TYPE AND WEIGHT OF VEHICLE: (1) AN ACCURATE PREDICTION OF THE VEHICLE MILES OF TRAVEL FOR THE ROAD AFTER IMPROVEMENT, (2) THE REDUCTION IN COST IN CENTS PER VEHICLE MILE WHICH WILL BE BROUGHT ABOUT THROUGH EACH KIND OF ROAD IMPROVEMENT, (3) AN ESTIMATE OF THE ABSOLUTE OPERATING COSTS FOR THE ROUTE AS IT EXISTS BEFORE IMPROVEMENT, AND (4) THE VEHICLE MILES OF TRAVEL SAVED THROUGH ROUTE SHORTENING. METHODS OF DETERMINING THE SECOND OF THESE ITEMS FOR MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATING AND ACCIDENT COST ARE DESCRIBED. THE UNIT FUEL USE BENEFIT OR DISBENEFIT WHICH CAN BE REALIZED THROUGH IMPROVEMENTS CAN BE FOUND IF THE FOLLOWING ARE KNOWN FOR ALL VEHICLE TYPES AND WEIGHTS: (1) FUEL USE PER MILE AT CONSTANT SPEED AT VARIOUS RUNNING SPEEDS ON LEVEL, STRAIGHT ROAD, (2) THE ADDITIONAL FUEL CONSUMPTION PER EVENT TO COME TO A STOP AND ACCELERATE BACK TO SPEED FOR VARIOUS RUNNING SPEEDS, (3) THE ADDITIONAL FUEL CONSUMPTION PER EVENT TO REDUCE SPEED BY GIVEN AMOUNTS AND TO ACCELERATE BACK TO SPEEDS FOR VARIOUS RUNNING SPEEDS, (4) THE ADDITIONAL FUEL CONSUMPTION PER MILE TO OPERATE ON A STRAIGHT, LEVEL GRAVEL ROAD RATHER THAN ON A PAVED SURFACE, (5) THE FUEL CONSUMPTION PER MINUTE WHILE STOPPED WITH ENGINE IDLING, (6) THE ADDITIONAL FUEL CONSUMPTION PER MILE TO OPERATE UP GRADE RATHER THAN ON A LEVEL ROAD AT VARIOUS RUNNING SPEEDS, (7) THE ADDITIONAL FUEL CONSUMPTION PER CURVE TO OPERATE ON CURVES ON VARIOUS DEGREES OF SHARPNESS AT VARIOUS RUNNING SPEEDS, AND (8) THE FUEL CONSUMPTION PER MILE TO OPERATE ON PAVED ROAD OF 2,4, AND 6 LANES AT VARIOUS RANGES OF TRAFFIC VOLUME WHILE FLOATING WITH TRAFFIC. CURRENT STUDIES ARE BEING CONDUCTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON AND THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS TO DETERMINE VALUES FOR EACH OF THESE ITEMS. MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT COSTS DEPEND ON THE NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS OR THE INCIDENCE OF ACCIDENTS, THE AVERAGE SEVERITY OF ACCIDENTS AND THE UNIT COSTS INCURRED THROUGH ACCIDENTS, SUCH AS THOSE FOR VEHICLE REPAIRS, HOSPITALIZATION, AND INSURANCE PREMIUMS. ONLY THE FIRST TWO OF THESE CAN BE CHANGED THROUGH HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT. MR. HOCH PRESENTS SOME EMPIRICAL DATA FROM ACCIDENT STUDIES PUBLISHED BY THE CHICAGO AREA TRANSPORTATION STUDY. MR. VAN RIPER PRESENTS SOME FIGURES FROM THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES STUDY OF FREEWAY SYSTEM BENEFITS. COMPARISON IS DISCUSSED OF TOLL ROADS WITH ALTERNATE ROUTES.

Media Info

  • Monograph Title: ECONOMIC ANALYSIS IN HIGHWAY PROGRAMMING, LOCATION AND DESIGN: WORKSHOP CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS, SEPTEMBER 17, 1959
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00201830
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 26 1970 12:00AM