AAA Report on cost of Automobile Crashes

How much of these costs are socialized? The report makes no attempt to quantify this, some of the stories correctly note that some of these costs filter through to many other things, such as health care/insurance.

Why doesn’t our press bother to cover this? The only localized story I could find was  KPNX-12 . Once again we have risen to near the top nationwide, sixth out of 85 not too shabby! This goes hand-in-hand with Arizona’s impressively high traffic fatality rate. Which is something else the press isn’t interested in.

…The report looked at 85 cities across the nation. Phoenix ranks sixth with the highest costs due to crashes. According to the study, it costs $1,368.00 extra per person in the Valley when there is a crash. The national average is $1,052.00 per person.

Crashes Cost EveryoneKPNX-12

Anyway, todo is to look for AAA data and get Phoenix per capita figures.

Compare the $164B AAA figure to the $230B from year 2000 NHSTA study — the difference presumably mostly attributable to differing methodologies.

Crashes cost everyone KPNX-12 Mar. 5, 2008 05:47 PM
Valley residents know all too well the impact a car crash can have on the commute home. But a new report by AAA shows Phoenix residents not only lose time, but also money because of crashes.

Michelle Donati, AAA Arizona Spokesperson, said, “The costs in Phoenix and Tucson are both above the national average.”

The report looked at 85 cities across the nation. Phoenix ranks sixth with the highest costs due to crashes. According to the study, it costs $1,368.00 extra per person in the Valley when there is a crash. The national average is $1,052.00 per person. Donati said people end up paying indirectly through various services. She said the extra cost can be found in higher medical costs and increased taxes used to pay rescuers. Crashes even drive up the cost of gas as drivers wait for an accident to clear.

Donati said, “The longer it takes for trucks and services to get to a store as a result of congestion the more they’re going to have to charge you for those goods and services.”

Driver Rebekah Massey said, “It’s kind of shocking. It’s pretty bad I think. We don’t think about all those indirect costs.”

The crash cost works out to less than a thousand dollars per person in the nation’s largest cities such as New York. The study also found the per-person burden cost is much more in smaller cities.

Linda Gorman, public affairs manager for AAA Arizona, said, “Common problems that add the number of collisions in our state include red light runners, speed, lack of seat belt usage and the number of people who drive under the influence. Unfortunately, everyone ends up paying the price for this epidemic.”

While it’s bad new for residents, it’s great news for auto body repair shops like I-17 Collision Repair. Owner Kevin Rowe said, “We repair over 100 vehicles a month, between 120 to 150.”

According to the AAA study, Phoenix traffic crashes cost nearly $5.3 billion total per year

U.S. car accident cost: $164.2 billion
AAA report says crashes are 2-1/2 times more costly that traffic jams.

NEW YORK ( — Auto accidents cost each American more than $1,000 a year, 2-1/2 times the cost of the traffic jams that frustrate the nation’s drivers, according to a report issued Wednesday.

The motorist advocacy group AAA said accidents cost $164.2 billion each year, which based on the methodology used in the report comes to an annual per person cost of $1,051.

AAA said the study that quantified the cost of traffic accidents was conducted by Cambridge Systematics and considered costs from medical care, emergency and police services, property damage, lost productivity and quality of life.

The group said traffic congestion costs the nation $67.6 billion each year, or $430 per person, according to the annual traffic congestion report issued by the Texas Transportation Institute that takes into account 85 urban areas throughout the United States.

AAA’s point in issuing the study was to put a pricetag on accidents, saying people seem more concerned with the frustrations of traffic congestion.

“Nearly 43,000 people die on the nation’s roadways each year,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet in a report. “Yet, the annual tally of motor vehicle-related fatalities barely registers as a blip in most people’s minds.”

The nation needs to change its “cultural complacency” regarding accident deaths on its roads, Troy Green, AAA’s public relations manager, told “We really need to change the way we talk about this safety message to the public.”

The AAA report comes out just as Congress looks to reauthorize federal transportation programs for 2009. Troy said the report is looking for “leadership at the national, state and local levels” in support of what he called “a public health challenge.”

According to the AAA report, urban areas with more than 3 million residents pay two times the cost of congestion for crashes, while in areas with less than 500,000 residents, the cost of car crashes rises to seven times the cost of congestion.

Elly Martin, a spokeswoman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, told that the cost of accidents to society could be even greater than what the AAA study is predicting.

Martin said a prior study by her group concluded”that the cost to society was $230.6 billion in 2000 and the likelihood is that it is even greater today.”

“Society is paying a huge price for motor vehicle crashes on our roadways,” she said.

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