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. According to one Austin auto accident attorney in Texas, 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 TxDOT and other state DOTs in estimating the crash costs to their specific state when focusing on relevant target crash types and maximum crash severity injury level.
How do insurance companies calculate car accident settlements?
Car Crash Types
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 car 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 2018 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.