According to a new report, vehicle crashes cost the United States $299.5 billion in 2009, more than three times the cost of traffic congestion in the same year. The AAA study compared the costs of crashes per person in the same urban areas used in the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI’s) 2010 Urban Mobility Report.
According to AAA, “The study, along with recommendations for improvements, was designed to raise awareness among policymakers, departments of transportation, and the public about the magnitude of the safety problem and the importance of transportation investments for reducing the number and severity of crashes.”
Major findings of the study include:
- In every city studied, the costs associated with per-person crashes exceeded the costs of congestion.
- While the cost associated with congestion increases with city size, the cost of crashes per person decreases as city size increases.
The study found that in 2009 the average societal cost of a single fatal crash was $6 million, while an injury-only crash averaged $126,000.
In order to reduce the financial impact of crashes, AAA recommends increasing the investment of proven safety countermeasures, increasing public awareness, better laws and enforcement, and to make zero traffic fatalities a national goal.
Read the full study.