Review of European accident cost calculation methods : with regard to vulnerable road users. Deliverable 5.1 of the H2020 project InDev (In-Depth understanding of accident causation for Vulnerable road users).

Kasnatscheew, A. Heinl, F. Schoenebeck, S. Lerner, M. & Hosta, P.

The present deliverable compares accident cost calculations of the EU member states with special regard to the definition of injury categories, components included, methods applied, databases used, the consideration of VRU and underreporting. From the historical point of view, the VSL (implying monetised pain, sorrow, grief and loss of quality of life due to an accident) has gained a high importance. Also the WTP method has got a crucial role in order to monetise the VSL. The European research projects COST 313 and HEATCO gave recommendations regarding accident cost calculation – on the relevant components, methods and databases –, which are followed by a large number of the EU countries. In order to analyse the current status of accident costs calculations, project partners from InDeV have undertaken a survey in cooperation with the EU research project SafetyCube. A questionnaire addressed to accident cost experts from the EU member countries has been created in order to collect the needed information. A majority of the contacted experts has sent a sufficient amount of information in order to perform a comparison between the countries. The data of those countries, where no contact to an expert could be established, was gained from relevant papers as far as possible. The results of the analysis show that many recommendations by COST 313 and HEATCO have been turned into practice, although not completely. Deviating ways have been found concerning component inclusion, monetising method application and usage of data sources. It is also indicated that the problem of underreporting has been solved only by very few countries. The high injury exposure of VRU is shown only in two European countries applying different approaches. Further calculations of unit costs per road user type are not being performed by almost all countries yet. The definitions of a ‘fatality’ are practically identical in all EU member states. However, a comparison of the definitions of the categories ‘slight’ and ‘serious injuries’ reveals big differences. Furthermore, non-methodological factors are introduced. These have an additional impact on the extent of total accident costs. The data on accident costs have been analysed with regard to unit costs per fatality, per slight and serious injury and component-wise. Except costs per fatality, it can be concluded that the level of these accident cost rates varies clearly between countries. Methods, databases and other non-methodological factors obviously have a considerable effect on the costs. These differences testify to the structural differences which have been discovered by the survey. To conclude, final recommendations are given in order to promote further EU-wide harmonisation of the accident cost calculations: * Equivalent databases have to be taken. * Relevant components and its items must be included uniformly. * Appropriate methods must be applied uniformly. * Underreporting has to be considered and corrected for. * The unit costs for VRU and other road users have to be indicated explicitly. * Non-methodological differences should be considered and named in detail when comparing countries in order to find further influencing factors. By following these recommendations the international comparison of accident cost calculations can be improved and further political contributions to a better road safety can be deduced. (Author/publisher)

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20200177 ST [electronic version only]

[Brussels, European Commission], 2016, VII + 58 p. + app., ref. ; Horizon 2020 the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation; Grant agreement No. 635895

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