Pilot study on willingness to pay for road safety
In Germany, cost-benefit analyses are used to evaluate infrastructure projects. A major benefit component for determining the cost-benefit ratio is the reduction in the number of accidents. The costs of accidents are derived from the costs of resources allocated to remedy accident consequences. Humanitarian immaterial costs are calculated referring to court verdicts on the compensation for pain and suffering. The willingness-to-pay analysis has emerged as an alternative methodology for determining humanitarian costs. The Faculty of Transportation Sciences at the Technical University of Dresden developed, on behalf of the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), a concept for determining individual willingness-to-pay for improved road safety. Researchers have applied Discrete Choice analysis where survey participants had to choose between routes with differences in three attributes: travel time, travel costs and accident risk. Different injury categories were taken into account in order to consider the German as well as the international classification of injury severity.
The results of the pilot study make a significant contribution to the ability to assess accident costs including immaterial costs. In order to harmonise the concepts of accident cost assessments in Europe, the recommendations from this study have been consistently shared with international experts.