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What is the economic cost of crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians?

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that the comprehensive cost of each person killed in a traffic crash to be $4,538,000 (2012 dollars) (see table below). Multiplying this number by the 726 bicyclists killed in 2012 totals nearly $3.3 billion. Multiplying this number by the 4,743 pedestrians killed in 2012 totals more than $21.5 billion. The NSC also estimates the average economic nonincapacitating injury cost per person involved in a motor vehicle crash to be $58,700 (2012 dollars). Multiplying this number by the 49,000 estimated bicyclist injuries in 2012 totals more than $2.8 billion. Multiplying this number by the 76,000 estimated pedestrian injuries in 2012 totals nearly $4.5 billion.

CategoryCost per Event2012 EventsTotal 2012 Cost
Bicycle Fatalities$4,538,000726$3,294,588,000
Bicycle Injuries$58,70049,000$2,876,300,000
Pedestrian Fatalities$4,538,0004,743$21,523,734,000
Pedestrian Injuries$58,70076,000$4,461,200,000

Based on these estimates, the total cost of bicycle and pedestrian injuries and fatalities for 2012 was $32,155,822,000.

According to the NSC, calculation of the economic cost of injuries includes "wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, motor vehicle damage, and employers' uninsured costs." Calculation of the comprehensive cost of fatalities includes the economic cost plus "a measure of the value of lost quality of life which was obtained through empirical studies of what people actually pay to reduce their safety and health risks."

The average 2012 comprehensive costs on a per injured person basis were:

  1. Death: $4,538,000
  2. Incapacitating Injury: $230,000
  3. Non incapacitating evident injury: $58,700
  4. Possible Injury: $27,200
  5. No injury: $2,500

Source: The National Safety Council