AAA: Crashes cost society $299.5 billion annually
Washington – Annual “society costs” of traffic crashes total $299.5 billion – a figure 3 times more than the annual societal cost of traffic congestion, indicates a recently released AAA report (.pdf file).
Researchers based the costs of crashes on 11 components, including medical care, lost earnings, legal and administrative costs, and property damage. They pointed to a “culture of complacency” as a major barrier to reducing societal crash costs.
Specific recommendations in the report include:
- Focus on safety as a “national priority.”
- Invest in proven ways to increase driving safety.
- Pass and enforce laws to govern driving behavior, such as safety belt requirements.
- Implement strategic highway safety plans at the state level.
- Aim for zero fatalities as a “national goal.”
AAA also provided recommendations to increase communication and collaboration among traffic safety stakeholders, and emphasized the importance of using “performance-based planning.”