What is known about the benefits of road safety investments?


The benefits of road safety investments consist of savings in road crash costs. The 2020 social road crash costs are estimated at  € 27 billion (see the question What are the costs of road crashes for society?). Therefore, if no road crashes were to occur at all, this would bring social cost savings of € 27 billion annually (compared to the situation in 2020), among which savings in human costs in the form of prevented suffering and loss of quality of life (see the question How do we define the human costs of road crashes?). On the other hand, investments would be needed to reduce the number of road crashes and casualties. By way of indication: the total amount needed to reduce the number of road deaths to (almost) zero by 2050 is estimated at € 15 billion [33]. Although this is a rough indication, the estimate shows that the benefits of investments would quickly exceed the costs.

The favourable benefit-cost ratio of road safety investments is also apparent from the social cost-benefit analyses (CBAs); see the question What are social cost-benefit analyses?). A cost-benefit ratio of investments in Sustainable Safety measures during the period 1998-2007, among which improvements in infrastructure and vehicle safety and intensified enforcement, showed the total benefits to be approximately € 2 billion. The costs of the measures amounted to € 0.5 billion, which results in a benefit-cost ratio of 4 : 1. As early as 2000, several national research agencies [28] also concluded road safety investments to be cost-effective. Furthermore, international overviews of CBAs [31] [32] also show that road safety measures generally have higher benefits than costs.

Part of fact sheet

Road crash costs

The social costs of road crashes in the Netherlands in 2020 are estimated at € 27 billion (between € 15 and € 36 billion). This is significantly Meer

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