Crashes in the Capital Region cost nearly $1 billion annually
EDMONTON, April 14, 2010 – Traffic safety professionals announced the costs of motor vehicle collisions in the Capital Region today. CRISP, the Capital Region Intersection Safety Partnership, estimates that nearly $1 billion is spent on collisions every year.
CRISP commissioned a study to determine average and total costs of collisions involving fatalities, injuries and property damage in Devon, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove, St. Albert and Stony Plain. The study estimates that each fatal collision costs more than $180,000, an injury collision costs almost $40,000 and the average collision that only involves property damage costs approximately $11,000.
In 2007, there were 43 fatal collisions, 8,517 injury collisions and 51,822 collisions that only involved property damage, for a total of more than 60,000 collisions in the Capital Region. These collisions cost a total of $909,386,757.
“While $900 million dollars every year is a staggering figure, that’s only the tip of the iceberg,” says Dawn Green of Strathcona County, a member of CRISP. “That total reflects direct costs like property damage, health services, legal costs and lost productivity. But collisions cost us more than a trip to the body shop or a ride in an ambulance. We also pay indirect costs like grief, pain and suffering.”
Indirect costs are paid by people close to the person involved in the collision and by society as a whole. The study estimates that indirect costs total at least as much as direct costs.
The authors of the study used a willingness-to-pay model to measure the value people put on their own lives and on the lives of people close to them. The model takes into account the amount of money a person is willing to pay to reduce the risk of injury or death for themselves and others. The study found that people in the Capital Region are willing to pay $5.3 million to prevent a death in a collision and $95,000 to prevent an injury in a collision.
“These are more than just interesting statistics. This information is critical to our work in injury prevention. We need to understand all of the costs of collisions,” explains Green. “Learning that crashes cost us so much every year reinforces why preventing them and their resulting injuries is so important. We are paying too much, both personally and as a society, for collisions.”
Since 2001, CRISP has worked together to promote intersection traffic safety in the Capital Region. CRISP members include the Alberta Motor Association, Alberta Health Services, the Edmonton Police Service, St. Albert RCMP, Strathcona County RCMP, the City of St. Albert, Strathcona County and the City of Edmonton. CRISP initiatives integrate education, engineering, and enforcement strategies and target four priorities: red light violations, pedestrian safety, speed and high crash locations.
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