IAM RoadSmart makes a valuable contribution to the road risk debate. We produce a range of policy and research documents on topics key to the conversation, such as drink-driving, speed cameras, motorway speed limits, motorcycling and mature drivers.
We inform and influence to ensure road safety remains a policy and investment priority. Those who listen to our views include government and key decision makers.
IAM RoadSmart often gives evidence to governmental bodies, including the Transport Select Committee. Our staff also provide expert input and analysis on key committees at Highways England, Road Safety Scotland, Transport Focus and PACTS (Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety). We also contribute to the international road safety debate as members of the Mobility division of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).
The purpose of this research was to facilitate a discussion beyond the Department for Transport, with the aim of developing focused policy actions based on the savings government departments could make by prioritising road safety in their day-to-day work.
The use of casualty costs is well known and a new figure is generated every year based on a model developed in the 1990’s. In 2015 the cost of each casualty was estimated at £1.7million with the total of all incidents placed at £35 billion. The biggest element in this figure is the cost to the individuals involved, chiefly loved ones. This human cost factor has always been based on how much those relatives would be willing to pay to avoid the incident. By stripping this out the new report can show exactly which costs fall on the public purse.
The total costs to public services identified by the research were as follows:
Breaking this down to individual government departments shows that reducing young driver crashes completely could result in savings of £227 million to the Department for Work and Pensions – a result of not needing to pay out long term benefits to injured drivers. In turn, the NHS and the police costs would be cut by £241 million. For motorcycling the DWP benefits savings are up to £219 million and NHS and police costs could be reduced by up to £162 million. For older drivers the costs are actually higher for serious injuries at £58,000 but the ever increasing numbers of older people mean that their costs to government departments cannot be ignored.