A report into the social cost of road crashes reinforces the high price society pays for road trauma, said New Zealand Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss.

The Ministry of Transport’s annual Social Cost of Road Crashes and Injuries report estimated the total social cost of fatal and injury crashes in 2014 was $3.47 billion (in June 2015 prices).

The estimated social cost of each fatality was $4.09 million, while the estimated cost of each serious and minor injury was $430,000 and $23,000 respectively.

“It’s incredibly difficult to put a price on a life lost, or a life changed through serious injury,” he said. “The emotional cost to victims, and the friends and family of victims is obviously devastating. This report shows each and every crash also has serious financial and economic consequences for all New Zealanders.

“Looking at crashes in this way enables us to weigh the cost and benefits of each road safety plan, measure or initiative.

“It’s in everyone’s best interest to see deaths and injuries decrease and the social cost fall. These figures are a stark reminder that road safety is everyone’s responsibility.

“The message remains the same: drive sober, slow down, buckle up, and for those on motorcycles or bicycles, put a helmet on. It could be the difference between life and death.”

The latest report is available on the Ministry of Transport’s website: