The social cost of road crashes and injuries
Last updated on
19/12/2012 4:56 p.m.
The Social Cost of Road Crashes and Injuries June 2012 update was released in November 2012.
The report finds that the total social cost of motor vehicle injury crashes in 2011 is estimated at approximately $3.14 billion (down from $3.67 billion in 2010), at June 2012 prices. This estimate includes both reported and non-reported cases.
The reduction in social cost was largely attributable to a twenty-four percent reduction in the number of fatalities (from 375 in 2010 to 284 in 2011).
Read an overview of the 2012 report (html)
Download the full 2012 report (PDF, 888kb)
Read the questions and answers on the report
Download reports from previous years:
About the report
The social cost of a road crash and the associated injuries include a number of different elements:
- loss of life and life quality
- loss of output due to temporary incapacitation
- medical costs
- legal costs
- property damage costs
Injury costs are classified into fatal, serious and minor injuries as reported by crash investigators.
The average value of a loss of life is estimated by the amount of money that the members of the New Zealand population would be willing to pay for a safety improvement that results in the expected avoidance of one premature death1. It is a measure of the pain, suffering and loss of life component of the social cost.
The value of statistical life (VOSL) was established at $2 million in 1991, following a willingness to pay (WTP) survey carried out during 1989/1990. It is indexed to average hourly earnings (ordinary time) to express the value in current prices. The same VOSL has been used in all safety evaluations across all three transport modes (road, maritime and aviation), as decided by the Government in 1991 (NZ Gazette notice 4983).
Medical costs can be further broken down into emergency costs, medical/hospital treatment costs and follow-on costs. Legal costs include crash investigation, imprisonment and court costs.
The social cost of road crashes and injuries is updated annually. Please contact email@example.com for copies of earlier reports.
1. This is the willingness to pay based value of statistical life.