Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Mapping the Cost of Road Accidents

Stefan Lehmkühler, a city activist currently ruuning for a seat in the Berlin House of Representatives, has mapped out the costs of road accidents in Berlin. 

The German Federal Highway Research Institute has calculated the costs of different types of road accident. For example a crash leading to a fatality is assumed to cost around 1,121,888 euros, while an accident leading to a minor injury is assumed to cost around 4,959 euros.Using these costs and accident data from the Berlin police on the location of traffic accidents in the city for 2018-2019 Lehmkühler has been able to evaluate how much each segment of road has cost the city as a direct result of road accidents. 

The Accident Cost Density Map (Unfallkostendichte Karte) colors Berlin's roads based on the costs incurred on each section from traffic accidents.Mapping the accident cost of each section of road is an interesting approach to mapping traffic accidents. Instead of highlighting the roads with the most traffic accidents it should reveal the sections of roads which have had the most severe and deadly accidents. In other words the map shows where the most serious accidents have happened per meter of street. 

For the map to really make a difference to the severity of road accidents then the Berlin House of Representatives really needs to be made responsible for the costs of these accidents. If the map was used as an annual auditing tool of costs, which the House of Representatives was then forced to pay, the city authorities might be inspired to more quickly act to reduce accidents. Impose a financial penalty on the council (make them pay for the true costs of road accidents) and I bet they would quickly introduce a whole host of traffic safety measures and quickly work to make the city more pedestrian and bike friendly.

Via: Der Tagesspiegel

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