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Estimated Cost

The economic cost of motor vehicle crashes is readily published by NHTSA; however, the estimated cost due to emergency vehicles involved in a crash is not easily obtainable. The economic impact of motor vehicle crashes in 2000 totaled $230.6 billion which is equivalent to $820 for every person living in the United States. Total property damage costs for all types of crashes (i.e. fatal, injury, non-injury and property damage only) accounted for 26 percent of the total cost ($59 billion). Property damage crashes only were the most costly type of crash [18]. Overall, in the year 2000, there were 37,526 fatal crashes resulting in 41,945 fatalities. Among EVs in 2000, there were 90 fatal crashes totaling 162 fatalities (Figure 1).

Figure 4 illustrates the property damage scores among ambulance, civilian vehicle and surrounding property. "Forty-one percent of the collisions scored only 2, indicating that on average there was minor damage in two categories or moderate damage in one category. The total cost for repairing ambulances during this time period [1989-1997] was $350,938 or approximately 38,900 per year" [4].

Figure 4: Property damage scores. Values represent the number of collisions for each property damage score from 0 to 9. Figure adapted from Custalow & Gravitz, 2004; Figure 5.