Road crashes are an avoidable cause of premature mortaIity and morbidity. Strategies to reduce the number of crashes are often subject to cost-benefit analyses in order to determine where scarce resources are best spent. However, the measure of benefit in these studies is often inadequate, being based on the avoidance of lost production of those killed or injured, savings in hospital costs, or savings in insurance payments. Ideally benefits should be assessed in a manner comparable with costs, such that a cost-benefit analysis may be undertaken. This usually requires measurement of benefit in dollars. One technique used to do this is termed willingness-to-pay (WTP), where a survey is used to ask people directly how much they would be prepared to pay to secure the benefits of a reduction in the risk of mortality and morbidity.
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