Valuing the social costs of crashes: is community's willingness to pay to avoid death or injury being reflected?
The valuing of crashes in Australia is in need of review and update. Australia currently uses a human capital (HC) approach to the valuation of crash costs, while many other developed countries have adopted a willingness to pay (WTP) approach. This paper considers the current methodologies pertaining to estimation of safety effects and suggests that the value community places on prevention of loss of life and of serious injury would be better reflected by the implementation of the WTP approach. In addition, the practicalities of moving to a WTP estimation of crash costs are also discussed with respect to impacts on project evaluation.