The social cost of road crashes is $4.17 billion for just one year, according to a new report published by the New Zealand Ministry of Transport.

The report, “Social cost of road crashes and injuries 2016 update”, finds that the cost to society of death and serious injury on the roads increased by 7.8% in 2016, from $3.78 billion in 2015.

It also provides an estimate of the social cost of every death on the road. For 2016, this figure is $4.18 million per fatality.

In New Zealand, the social cost of a road crash or a road injury includes the following components:

  • loss of life and life quality
  • loss of output due to temporary incapacitation
  • medical costs
  • legal costs
  • vehicle damage costs

A “willingness-to-pay” valuation technique is used to express pain and suffering from loss of life or life quality in dollar terms.

View the report: Social cost of road crashes and injuries 2016 update.