You are not currently logged in.

Login through your institution for access.


Log in through your institution.

Using Cost-Effectiveness Analysis to Prioritize Spending on Traffic Safety

Using Cost-Effectiveness Analysis to Prioritize Spending on Traffic Safety

Liisa Ecola
Benjamin Batorsky
Jeanne S. Ringel
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 66
Stable URL:
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Using Cost-Effectiveness Analysis to Prioritize Spending on Traffic Safety
    Book Description:

    This report examines how traffic safety funding could be spent to reduce motor vehicle crash–related injuries and deaths. Specifically, it assesses three issues: the most cost-effective interventions at the national and state levels, whether to allocate incremental funding increases to all states or spend the funds in targeted states, and how best to allocate funds that target drunk driving.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-9367-7
    Subjects: Technology, Transportation Studies, Health Sciences
    × Close Overlay

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations
  1. Front Matter (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary (pp. xi-xvi)
  7. Acknowledgments (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. Abbreviations (pp. xix-xx)
  9. Chapter One. Introduction (pp. 1-2)

    Globally, motor vehicle crashes are the eighth-leading cause of death for all ages and the leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 29 (World Health Organization, 2013). In recognition of this, in 2011, the World Health Organization called for a Decade of Action for Road Safety from 2011 to 2020 (World Health Organization, 2011). The problem is just as acute in the United States; in 2013, more than 32,700 people were killed and more than 2.3 million were injured in motor vehicle crashes (National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 2015). The direct and indirect economic costs associated with...

  10. Chapter Two. Approach (pp. 3-10)

    In this chapter, we summarize the steps in the development and analysis of our costeffectiveness estimates. For more-detailed information on the sources of cost and benefit information and the assumptions and analyses that generate the cost-effectiveness estimates, please see the full documentation (Ringel et al., forthcoming).

    We based our selection of interventions on four criteria. Each intervention had to meet all four of these criteria:

    intended to change driver or passenger behavior (as opposed to changes to roadway or vehicle engineering)

    implementable at the state level (or affected by state policy)

    demonstrated to be highly effective

    not already in widespread...

  11. Chapter Three. What Are the Effects of Implementing the Most Cost-Effective Interventions? (pp. 11-16)

    In this chapter, we use the data underlying MV PICCS to identify the most cost-effective interventions nationally, as well as for each state. We then estimate the expected costs and benefits associated with different approaches for selecting which interventions to implement. The first approach takes a national perspective, selecting interventions to implement in all states. The second approach is tailored to the state level, selecting the most cost-effective intervention for each state.

    For our national-level approach, we aggregate the costs and benefits across states for each intervention, excluding the states where the intervention is already in place. We then create...

  12. Chapter Four. What Is the Most Cost-Effective Way to Allocate an Increase in Funding for Interventions? (pp. 17-24)

    As shown in Chapter Three, the interventions that are most cost-effective vary widely from state to state. In this chapter, we use data from MV PICCS to compare two ways of allocating additional traffic safety money to states: by providing it equally across states and by targeting the most cost-effective interventions regardless of location.

    Each year, the federal government provides approximately $579 million to states for traffic safety programs (Governors Highway Safety Association, undated). Our thought experiment begins with assuming that this amount increases by 10 percent, such that an additional $57.9 million is available for the whole country. We...

  13. Chapter Five. Given This Set of Interventions, What Is the Most Cost-Effective Way to Reduce Drunk Driving? (pp. 25-30)

    Drunk driving remains a major cause of fatal crashes. Overall, about 31 percent of motor vehicle–related fatalities in 2010 involved drivers who were alcohol-impaired (NHTSA, undated [a]).⁹ Although the absolute number of drunk driving–related deaths has declined with the overall decline in vehicle crash–related deaths, this percentage has remained roughly constant. The legal standard for a DWI charge is a BAC of 0.08.¹⁰

    The extent of the drunk-driving problem varies from state to state, although there are differences depending on how the problem is measured. Three metrics are commonly used:

    proportion of a state’s vehicle crash fatalities...

  14. Chapter Six. Conclusion (pp. 31-34)

    In this report, we used state-level cost-effectiveness data for a set of motor vehicle–related injury–prevention interventions to consider three policy questions from a national perspective.

    For the nation as a whole, under our assumptions, the three most cost-effective interventions are alcohol interlocks, universal motorcycle helmet laws, and license plate impoundment. If these three interventions were implemented in all states where they are not currently in place, 1,219 fatalities would be prevented, and implementation costs would be approximately $55 million. Universal motorcycle helmet laws alone would prevent 745 fatalities and cost $41 million to implement. If we take a...

  15. Appendix. Reference Tables (pp. 35-42)
  16. References (pp. 43-46)