The total cost of motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. totals $299.5 billion, according to a study done for the auto club AAA.
According to the study conducted for AAA by Cambridge Systematics, the overall cost of crashes equates to an annual per person cost of $1,522.
The study examined the relationship between congestion and crashes to determine the relative economic impact by using figures provided by the Texas Transportation Institute 2010 mobility report data.
The cost of crashes is three times higher than the costs associated with traffic congestion, which is $97.7 billion. The annual cost of of congestion is $590 per person a year.
“The burdens associated with congestion are top of mind for many Americans as they travel to and from work each day,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “However, at $300 billion annually, crashes cost our society more than three times the amount of congestion. This report further underscores the importance of a long-term, multi-year federal transportation bill that will provide the necessary and sustained investments that lead to better and safer roads for all Americans.”
The cost of crashes is based on the Federal Highway Administration’s comprehensive costs data for traffic fatalities and injuries that assign a dollar value to a variety of components, including medical and emergency services, lost earnings and household production, property damage, and lost quality of life, among other things.
Results from the study show large cities incur the largest total crash costs because the number of fatalities and injuries is larger than in smaller cities. However, if the total cost of crashes is calculated on a per person basis, smaller cities tend to have greater per person costs.
In very large metro areas, the average crash cost per person is $1,406, while for small cities, it is $1,778.
The Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Miami Beach, Fla., area had a total cost per person of $2,016 versus a medium-sized city of Baton Rouge, La., where the average cost was $3,747 and a small city (Beaumont-Port Arthur, Tex.), at $2787.