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Figure 3. Estimated proportions of the total costs of road crashes in 2018 for the various cost items.[i]. Source: KiM [1].


The costs of road crashes can be subdivided into six cost items [2] [6] [7]:

Medical costs

Medical costs are the result of the medical treatment of casualties, for example costs for hospital, rehabilitation and medicines. In the Netherlands, costs for people who come to visit in hospital and (early) funeral costs are also included in medical costs.

Production loss

Loss of production consists of costs of the casualties’ temporary or permanent inability to work and the entire loss of production of road deaths. Some countries also include loss of unpaid production, such as housekeeping and voluntary work, costs for employers to recruit and train replacement staff, and cost of vocational rehabilitation. However, these costs are not included in the Netherlands.

Human costs

Human costs for casualties and their relatives and friends are costs in the form of suffering, pain, sorrow and loss of quality of life and joy of life. Human costs are related to road deaths as well as to serious and slightly injured casualties. Also see the question How do we define human costs of road crashes?

Property damage

Property damage includes damage to vehicles, cargo, roads and road furniture, and to personal possessions. Vehicle damage is always by far the largest cost item in this category [8] and in the Netherlands these are the only costs included in the calculation (passenger cars, delivery vehicles, trucks and motorcycles).

Settlement costs

Settlement costs relate to deployment of police and fire brigade in the event of crashes, administrative costs of insurers and legal costs. Legal costs include costs of detection, prosecution, trial and punishment of those who cause a crash and costs for legal aid.

Other costs

In the Netherlands, other costs only include costs of congestion on account of crashes. In some other countries, other costs also include the cost of vehicle unavailability, such as the cost of replacement transport. More than half of the total costs are human costs (Figure 3). Property damage costs are also relatively high (about a quarter of the total costs). Other cost items are relatively low.


[i] This is a fairly rough indication of the distribution of the costs in 2018 which was based on the costs in 2009 and which was adapted to the number of casualties and to inflation.


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24 Mar 2020

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