Traffic crashes cost American motorists far more than traffic congestion, according to a new report released earlier this month by AAA. “Crashes vs. Congestion: What’s the Cost to Society?” found that in 2009, traffic crashes cost Americans nearly $300 billion, compared with a congestion price tag of $97.7 billion. When broken out by city size, the disparity grew even larger, with traffic crashes in small urban areas costing nearly six times that of congestion. The report also highlights that crashes claimed over 33,000 lives in 2009, continuing a slight downward trend in fatalities, but still an alarmingly high number.
The report was produced for AAA by Cambridge Systematics and also includes several recommendations to increase road safety including making traffic safety a national priority and increasing communication and collaboration between government entities with responsibilities for traffic safety. The recommendations also call for increased research and data collection to provide for better policy-making.
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