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Valuing the Prevention of Road Accidents in Belgium

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In a recent international comparison of the social costs of road accidents, Traw√©n et al. (2003) noted that cost data are not available for Belgium and, by consequence, play no part in Belgian policy-making. The purpose of the present paper is, therefore, to value the costs per casualty type and per accident in Belgium. Empirical data are provided on human and economic production losses as well as on direct accident costs such as medical costs, hospital visiting costs, accelerated funeral costs, property damage, administrative costs of insurance companies, litigation costs, police and fire department costs, and congestion costs. In Belgium the marginal unit value of preventing a road casualty is estimated at €2 004 799 per fatal casualty, €725 512 per seriously injured and €20 943 per slightly injured victim. The unit cost per accident amounts to €2 355 763, €850 033, €34 944 and €2571 for fatal, serious, slight injury and property damage only accidents, respectively. These results are consistent with valuations reported in other high-income countries. Finally, the total costs of road accidents in 2002 are valued at €7.2 billion (2004 prices), or 2.6% of gross domestic product.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Applied Economics, Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium

Publication date: November 1, 2007

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