This text explains the main points of the application of cost-benefit analysis of road safety measures as an element of road safety policy making. The following questions are discussed:

  • What is cost-benefit analysis? What are the essential steps of such an analysis?
  • Why do cost-benefit analysis? Is it applicable to road safety?
  • What are the basic rules of the game for cost-benefit analysis? How should it be done and what should it include?
  • How should impacts of road safety measures be valued monetarily? What are the best current estimates of the value of preventing road traffic fatalities and injuries?
  • What do we need to know to do cost-benefit analysis? Are certain road safety measures less amenable to cost-benefit analysis than others?
  • What are the potential barriers to cost-benefit analysis and how can they be overcome?
  • What are the most promising road safety measures based on cost-benefit analyses? How far can road safety be improved by using these measures?
  • Can the results of cost-benefit analyses be generalised across countries? What are the main findings of recent cost-benefit analyses at the European level?
  • Can the results of cost-benefit analyses always be applied in a straightforward manner, or are there other relevant considerations for priority setting of road safety measures?
  • This text does not aim to teach readers how to perform a cost-benefit analysis, but will discuss the use of such analyses in more general terms. For a detailed description of how to perform cost-benefit analyses, references will be given to relevant textbooks.
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