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13 CHAPTER 5 Estimation of Savings Savings, or estimated benefits, from any highway safety immediately becomes apparent that, even using our conser- measure are calculated based on three factors as follows: vative estimates, the costs associated with crashes are very large for any target group. Even small reductions in crashes in 1. The number of fatalities and injuries resulting from crashes a major target group will result in tens of millions of dollars addressed by the countermeasure (based on number of in direct economic savings to the state. deaths in the target group and on an estimate of the num- States can increase the precision with respect to the num- ber of injuries per death avoided), bers shown in Table 4 by determining the actual number of 2. The estimated percentage reduction produced by the fatal victims in the state within each target group. For ex- countermeasure, and ample, instead of taking the national average of 11% of all 3. The estimated cost of each fatality and injury avoided. fatalities being pedestrians, states can use their own number of pedestrian fatalities per year. In order to arrive at a stable Dollar values associated with a fatality and dollar values estimate for smaller target groups, most states will likely associated with an injury were derived in the last section. This have to calculate an average number of deaths across several section begins with those dollar values and then relates them years. Two or three years of data should be sufficient for to the dollar "savings" that might be derived from the success- most states; as many as five years may be needed for smaller ful implementation of a given countermeasure in the median states. state as described in the following section. Countermeasure Effectiveness Median State The estimated effectiveness of a countermeasure was based There were 42,642 motor-vehicle-related fatalities in the on research and evaluation studies for that countermeasure. United States in 2006 (NHTSA, 2007a). The median number These effectiveness estimates for 23 Proven countermeasures, of fatalities per state was 630. To estimate the costs incurred along with a brief statement regarding relevant research cita- by a typical state, the researchers assume each state to have tions, are detailed in Appendix B. When estimated effects 600 fatalities a year and use that assumption as a basis for were reported as a range, the lowest estimate of effectiveness example calculations. States with 1,200 fatalities per year was used. For instance, if the fatal and/or injury reduction would multiply all cost/savings estimates by two. States with associated with a given countermeasure as based on three 300 fatalities per year would divide by two. high-quality evaluation studies was 10%, 12%, and 16%, re- Estimates for this "median" or "typical" state are shown in spectively, then the 10% figure was used in the calculation of Table 4. This state experiences an overall loss of $2.955 billion savings. dollars per year. That loss, based on the national distribution Use of the lowest effectiveness number, although perhaps of fatalities and injuries, is largely accounted for by three too conservative in some cases, should allow states to make target groups: (1) front seat occupants of passenger vehicles; benefit/cost decisions without the need to assume that their (2) speed; and (3) alcohol-impaired driving. Also shown in implementation would be "exemplary" or "extraordinary" as Table 4 are dollar savings that could be achieved if crashes compared to previously demonstrated effective efforts. States represented by each of these respective target groups could be planning an "exemplary" implementation can recalculate reduced by some specified amount, say 10%, 30%, or 50%. It their benefit estimates based on the middle or high estimate.
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Table 4. Median state fatality and cost estimates. Percent If estimated effectiveness is Cost for of all 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Target example state fatalities then resulting estimated savings are: All fatalities and injuries $2,954,577,660 100 $295,457,766 $590,915,532 $886,373,298 $1,181,831,064 $1,477,288,830 Fatalities and injuries involving alcohol-impaired drivers $537,848,587 35.46 $53,784,859 $107,569,717 $161,354,576 $215,139,435 $268,924,294 Alcohol-related involving drivers with previous DWI convictions $41,509,775 2.74 $4,150,978 $8,301,955 $12,452,933 $16,603,910 $20,754,888 Alcohol-related $626,096,874 41.28 $62,609,687 $125,219,375 $187,829,062 $250,438,750 $313,048,437 Belt use: unbelted front seat outboard occupant, passenger vehicle $1,082,328,300 30.89 $108,232,830 $216,465,660 $324,698,490 $432,931,320 $541,164,150 School-aged pedestrians $3,750,385 0.30 $375,039 $750,077 $1,125,116 $1,500,154 $1,875,193 Unhelmeted bicyclists ages 12 and under $4,512,100 0.17 $451,210 $902,420 $1,353,630 $1,804,840 $2,256,050 Bicyclists age 12 and under $4,573,075 0.18 $457,308 $914,615 $1,371,923 $1,829,230 $2,286,538 Unhelmeted bicyclists age 13 and up $39,572,340 1.52 $3,957,234 $7,914,468 $11,871,702 $15,828,936 $19,786,170 Teen drivers $268,232,054 5.37 $26,823,205 $53,646,411 $80,469,616 $107,292,822 $134,116,027 Underage drivers with BAC .01 $99,061,459 6.53 $9,906,146 $19,812,292 $29,718,438 $39,624,584 $49,530,730 Speed related $609,535,127 27.01 $60,953,513 $121,907,025 $182,860,538 $243,814,051 $304,767,564 Elderly drivers (75+) $177,202,538 7.35 $17,720,254 $35,440,508 $53,160,761 $70,881,015 $88,601,269