Traffic crashes in the United States cost $299.5 billion a year, according to a new AAA report on the far-reaching economic impacts of car accidents.
In the report ("Crashes vs. Congestion – What's the Cost to Society?"), researchers estimate the cost of crashes is more than three times the annual $97.7 billion cost of traffic congestion.
"This report further underscores the importance of a long-term, multi-year federal transportation bill that will provide the necessary and sustained investments that lead to better and safer roads for all Americans," said Robert Darbelnet, AAA president and CEO, in a press statement.
The study, conducted by Cambridge Systematics for AAA, finds the annual cost per person for traffic crashes is $1,522, compared to $590 per person for congestion. The researchers based the cost of crashes on the Federal Highway Administration's comprehensive costs for traffic fatalities and injuries, which assign a dollar value to a variety of components. Such components include medical and emergency services, lost earnings and household production, property damage, and lost quality of life, among other things.
Formerly known as the American Automobile Association, AAA is the largest motoring and leisure travel group, providing members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services.