As motor vehicle ownership continues to grow, so too does the societal and financial costs of road accidents
Governments around the world are concerned about the societal costs of road transport:
In Europe, there were 38,000 fatalities and 1,700,000 injuries in 2008. Human error was a factor in 93% of accidents. In the USA, there were 37,000 fatalities and 5,800,000 accidents in 2008. Road accidents were the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 4 to 34. The direct cost of traffic accidents was US$230 Billion. In Europe, 1% of GDP is lost to congestion annually.
In USA, congestion costs the economy US$87 Billion annually, with 4.2 Billion hours being lost. In Europe, 10% of the road network is congested daily. In USA, transportation is the single largest contributor of Greenhouse Gas emissions, and 2.8 Billion gallons of fuel are wasted annually due to congestion.
There is no doubt that today’s cars are safer now than they have ever been, as evidenced by the steady decline in the number of road fatalities. However, it is clear that the only way to improve things dramatically is to avoid the accidents altogether.