Crash Cost Calculator

Crash Cost Calculator

In the current economic reality of reduced revenues and limited budgets, state agency decision makers are challenged to justify the cost and demonstrate the effect—hard dollar figures—of program initiatives and their consequences. For State DOTs, whose mission is to improve the safety of its roadways for their users, this means identifying safety improvements and providing data supporting the cost and anticipated benefits of these improvements.

National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project #20-24 (068), conducted by NAVIGATS Inc., developed a crash cost application tool. This tool functions as a simple calculator to assist State DOTs in estimating the crash costs to their specific state when focusing on relevant target crash types and maximum crash severity injury level.

The calculator offers a selection of site and safety attributes for your study location—posted speed limit, geometry/traffic control for a segment, or signalized or unsignalized, and target crash types and maximum crash severity-injury level. It’s simple to use: make your selections and enter the relevant crash frequency; the tool calculates the current crash costs and the future safety effect of potential treatment(s) once implemented. It’s compatible with the 2010 AASHTO Highway Safety Manual and applies Crash Modification Factors (CMFs).

The Crash Cost Calculator includes the following elements:

  • Database of state-specific crash costs to state (and local) government.
  • Ranges of analyst-selected posted speed limits.
  • Study location—intersection and segment.
  • For intersection, a choice of traffic control device (signalized or not).
  • Maximum crash-injury level (KABCO and combinations).
  • Target crash types for which state crash costs are found in the database and can be considered for the estimate—such as roadway departure, angle, pedestrian, animal, single-vehicle, alcohol crashes.
  • Annual expected target crashes with no treatment for the study location.
  • Estimated without-treatment state annual crash costs —based on analyst-selected input variables.
  • Analyst-selected specific treatments, respective target crash types, and CMFs.
  • Estimated state annual crash cost savings based on the expected safety effect of selected treatments—number of expected affected crashes with treatment. All costs are in 2009 $ values.

The functionality of the crash cost calculator is described in the HELP support of the tool.


20-24 (068) Estimating the Costs to State Governments due to
Highway Fatal and Non-Fatal Injury Crashes

©2010 National Academy of Sciences. All Rights Reserved.


This work was sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, and was conducted in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), which is administered by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies.


Permission to reproduce any copyrighted material included herein was obtained by the contractor.


The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this material are those of the researchers who performed the research. They are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, or the program sponsors. The material has not been edited by TRB. Any software included is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively “TRB”) be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages. TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

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