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AAA: New Jersey car accidents are more costly than congestion

One of the key arguments surrounding debates over infrastructure funding is the cost of traffic congestion to New Jersey households and businesses. Congestion on area roads costs the state millions in unproductive wait time, burnt fuel and inefficiencies related to delay. Although the Garden State’s traffic backups are notorious and wasteful, data from AAA indicates that car accidents are twice as expensive as our state’s legendary traffic.

“When you’ve got economic impacts, it impacts everybody,” said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Tracy Noble. “We have to remember that when we are in congestion during construction, that ultimately will come to an end and the result of the construction will ease the congestion. That, at least, is a means to an end.”

Conversely, very little good comes out of a car accident which can create congestion by blocking the road and enormous medical bills for the parties involved. Further resources are then sucked up to pay emergency crews, police, accident reconstruction crews and cleanup personnel. The average cost per-person for traffic accidents was $1,500, far more than the $590 per-person cost of congestion.

This means that reducing the number of car accidents on New Jersey roads can have a positive economic impact for the entire state. A reduction in traffic accidents will lead to a reduction in congestion and personal injury costs. Unfortunately it is impossible to stop all bad driving behavior, which is why New Jersey motorists should remain vigilant while driving on area roads and avoid engaging in the type of driving habits that may give rise to expensive congestion and personal injury costs.

Source: NJ Biz, “For N.J. residents, car crashes cost twice as much as congestion,” Melinda Caliendo, Nov. 4, 2011

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