The Crash-Cost Analysis is an amazing tool in many ways. First, it directly illustrates the impact of crashes to public safety staffing, budgets, and the cost to citizens in the way of time and money. Next, it provides actionable information as to where to target crash reduction efforts first. It is easy to assume an agency should target the area with the highest number of crashes. But, with the analysis, an agency can target the location that highest overall impact on staffing and budgets and it may not be the top crash location. Finally, the analysis provides incentive to staff to work to reduce crashes because it shows them exactly how much time in staff hours can be saved with even incremental reductions.
I am impressed by the research that was performed on our agency, which included the Crash-Cost Analysis and agency performance measures in real numbers. I found both reports offered enlightening and helpful information and perspectives to gain buy-in from not only inside of this agency, but from city administration and local politicians who certainly appreciate the cost-benefit portion, which hones in on one of our core values: stewardship of tax payer dollars.
The Crash-Cost Analysis has revealed the hard stats regarding the true impact of crashes in our city. The report was eye-opening to see how many personnel hours were spent in terms of police, fire, and ambulance, and the translation of those hours to dollars and cents. As an agency, in a year's time, we dedicated nearly 22,000 hours to crash investigation, which translated into an estimated $1.6 million in police costs and $2.2 million in Citizen Impact Costs. Seeing the numbers associated with crashes in black and white was staggering; however, the report also provided a bit of encouragement in an example of how those resources could be positively impacted with even a 1% reduction in crashes. In short, the Crash-Cost analysis proved to be an extremely useful tool for our agency.