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Social cost of road crashes and injuries: June 2019 update

Traffic accidents Economic modelling Transport New Zealand

Road crashes impose intangible, financial and economic costs to society. These costs include reduced quality of life for survivors; reduced economic productivity; and medical and other resource costs. In this report, the Ministry of Transport updates the social cost of road crashes and injuries annually to allow comparison of the costs and benefits of any road safety actions in current dollars.

Key findings:

  • The total social cost of motor vehicle fatal and injury crashes in 2018 is estimated at approximately $4.9 billion (down 0.2% from $5.1 billion in 2017). This estimate covers all injuries recorded by NZ Police, hospitals and ACC.
  • The updated value of statistical life (VOSL) is $4.53 million per fatality at June 2019 prices. Adding other social costs gives an updated average social cost per fatality of $4.56 million.
  • For non-fatal injuries, the updated average social cost is estimated at $477,600 per serious injury and $25,500 per minor injury.
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