Estimation methodologies were developed for traffic accident costs in Korea. Road traffic accident costs were based on data from the integrated road traffic database provided by the Road Traffic Authority of Korea.
This study estimates the social costs of traffic accidents in 2015 using the gross lost output approach. This approach is considered to be the most suitable method for the economic environment of Korea. Accident costs consist of future income loss, medical costs, property damage costs, related administration costs, and PGS (pain, grief and suffering) of the victims. The Korea Transport Institute has been measuring the annual road accident costs of Korea since 1995. In 2003, it began to estimate total multimodal accident costs, including those from the rail, marine and aviation sectors.
A total of 1,144,157 accidents were reported in 2015, resulting in 4,750 deaths and 1,809,857 injuries included in all transportation modes. The resulting total accident costs totalled 49.5 trillion won, equivalent to approximately 3.17% of Korea’s 2015 GDP.
Roadway accident costs amounted to 49.2 trillion won. These costs accounted for nearly the entirety of total transportation accident costs. The accident costs of marine, rail and aviation modes were 192.7 billion won, 28.3 billion won and 42.3 billion won, respectively. Accident costs per accident showed that aviation, railway, marine and road accidents cost 3.5 billion won, 227.4 million won, 91.7 million won, and 35.7 million won respectively.
Psychological costs, which are expressed as a ratio of involvement in total compensations, were not influenced by varying judgment contexts, specifically change in perspective from victim to culprit or vice versa. However, subjective expectations of total compensations, which by the definition of willingness to pay depends on one’s perspective, were highly contingent upon the amount a victim is guaranteed against damage or loss.
The psychological unit cost per individual amounted to 286.6 million won for fatality, 75.1 million won for serious injury, and 6.3 million won for slight injury. The psychological costs of road, rail, marine and aviation modes were 23.4 trillion won, 10.3 billion won, 48.9 billion won, 0.2 billion won, respectively.