Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI)

No 2009:12: Accident externality and vehicle size

Lina Jonsson () and Gunnar Lindberg ()
Additional contact information
Lina Jonsson: VTI, Postal: Dept. of Transport Economics, P.O. Box 55685, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Gunnar Lindberg: VTI, Postal: Dept. of Transport Economics, P.O. Box 55685, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Vehicle mass is a crucial factor for the distribution of injuries between occupants in involved vehicles in a two-vehicle crash. A larger vehicle mass protects the occupants in the vehicle while on the same time inflicts a higher injury risk on the occupants in the collision partner. This mass externality can be internalized to reach a situation where the drivers choose vehicle mass based on the social optimum instead of a private optimum that ignores the negative effects that a large vehicle mass has on the injury risk in presumptive collision partners. Using a database including collision accidents in Sweden involving two passenger cars during five years, the influence of vehicle mass on the injuries and thereby the accident cost in both vehicles is explored. The database contains information on road infrastructure, vehicle characteristics including vehicle mass and characteristics of the occupants in the vehicles including their injuries. To get a measure of the accident cost the Swedish official economic valuation of slight injuries, severe injuries and fatalities are applied. In each accident the two involved vehicles are divided into the lighter vehicle and the heavier vehicle and the effect of weight is examined separately for the two groups. The accident cost that falls on the lighter vehicle increases with the mass of the heavier vehicle and decreases with own mass. Given that a vehicle is the heavier one in the crash, neither the own mass nor the mass of the lighter vehicle significantly affect the accident cost. The expected external accident cost is calculated and it is shown to increase rapidly with vehicle mass. The paper discusses different solutions to internalize this external accident cost and calculates a mass dependent multiplicative tax on the insurance premium in a no-fault insurance system.

Keywords: Accident Externality; Accident Cost; Vehicle Mass; Traffic Safety

JEL-codes: D62; H23; I18; R41

17 pages, October 26, 2009

Note: Presented at the European Transport Conference, Leiden 2009.

Full text files

Lina%20Jonsson%20-%2...20vehicle%20size.pdf PDF-file 

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Mats Berggren ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2018-10-19 10:42:36.