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C-1 Appendix C. Updated Crash Cost Estimates Crash costs are used in benefit-cost analyses to represent the benefits of reducing crashes. The crash cost values, by crash severity level, currently used in the examples presented in this document are as follows: ï· Fatality (K) $4,008,900 ï· Disabling injury (A) $216,600 ï· Evident injury (B) $79,000 ï· Possible injury (C) $44,900 ï· Property damage only (O) $7,400 These crash cost values represent the comprehensive societal costs of crashes, and are currently used by a number of highway agencies in benefit-cost analyses. These values of crash costs are accepted and used by a number of highway agencies because they are presented in Chapter 7 of the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual (HSM) (2), and the HSM is generally considered an authoritative source. However, many highway agencies use crash costs that differ from these values. The crash cost values in current use by highway agencies range from approximately $1 million per fatality to over $9 million per fatality. On looking further into the HSM crash cost values, however, it is evident that they are in need of updating. The HSM crash cost values are taken from a 2005 FHWA report (31), which it presents crash costs based on 2001 data. The FHWA report also provides a methodology for updating these crash costs to future years. The crash costs used as default values in these guidelines are based on the FHWA report values updated to 2015 levels. The recommended methodology for updating the crash cost values, based on the FHWA report is presented below. This updating procedure is in current use by both the New Hampshire and Ohio Departments of Transportation. Table C-1 shows that the comprehensive societal costs of crashes by severity level for 2001 can be broken down into two components: ï· human capital cost component ï· other societal cost component
C-2 Table C-1. Separation of Comprehensive Societal Costs of Crashes for 2001 into Human Capital Cost and Other Societal Cost Components Crash severity level Comprehensive societal cost ($) 2001 Human capital cost component ($) 2001 Other societal cost component ($) 2001 Fatal (K) 4,008,900 1,245,600 2,763,300 Disabling injury (A) 216,600 111,400 104,600 Evident injury (B) 79,000 41,900 37,100 Possible injury (C) 44,900 28,400 16,500 Property damage only (O) 7,400 6,400 1,000 The human-capital costs for 2001 are updated to future years with the consumer price index (CPI) as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor (32). The values of the CPI are 177.1 for 2001 and 237.9 for September 2015, so an update factor for human-capital costs can be computed as: â 237.9 177.1 1.344 (C-1) Table C-2 shows how the human capital costs component of crash costs can be updated from 2001 levels to 2015 levels. Table C-2. Updating of the Human Capital Cost Component of Comprehensive Societal Crash Costs from 2001 to 2015 Levels Crash severity level Human capital cost component ($) 2001 CPI update factor 2001â2015 Human capital cost component ($) 2015 Fatal (K) 1,245,600 1.344 1,674,100 Disabling injury (A) 111,400 1.344 149,700 Evident injury (B) 41,900 1.344 56,3000 Possible injury (C) 28,400 1.344 38,200 Property damage only (O) 6,400 1.344 8,600 The other costs for 2001 are updated to future years with the employment cost index (ECI) representing total compensation for all private industry workers, not seasonally adjusted, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor (33). The values of the ECI are 85.0 for 2001 and 124.5 for September 2015, so an update factor for human-capital costs can be computed as: â 124.5 85.0 1.465 (C-2) Table C-3 shows how the other societal costs component of crash costs can be updated from 2001 levels to 2015 levels.