Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Cost of Congestion

According to a new report from the AAA, the societal cost of crashes is a staggering $164.2 billion annually, nearly two and a half times greater than the $67.6 billion price tag for congestion.

The report, “Crashes vs. Congestion: What’s the Cost to Society?,” demonstrates that traffic safety issues warrant increased attention from the public and policymakers, particularly as Congress prepares to reauthorize federal transportation programs in 2009.

According to the study conducted by Cambridge Systematics, the $164.2 billion cost for crashes equates to an annual per person cost of $1,051, compared to $430 per person annually for congestion. These safety costs include medical, emergency and police services, property damage, lost productivity, and quality of life, among other things.

The report includes several recommendations to improve safety, including support for a national safety goal of cutting surface transportation fatalities in half by 2025, as recommended by the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission.

For additional information and to download a full copy of the report, visit

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