The scale and magnitude of road crashes and the socio and economic impacts are far too great. Each year, there are thousands of road crashes that occur in New Zealand. Each having a direct impact. This may be measured in terms of socio or economic costs.

Although in New Zealand road crashes have the highest rate of major trauma (physical injuries), there are many other factors widely associated with road crashes.

For those directly impacted by road crashes life changing or long lasting injuries (permanent impairment) may occur. These injuries, may be physical or psychological.

The Ministry of Transport is responsible for reporting on the socio and economic costs of road crashes or a road injuries. Each year, the Ministry of Transport publishes the ‘Social Cost of Road Crashes and Injuries’ Report.

The main framework includes the following components:

– loss of life and life quality
– loss of output due to temporary incapacitation (meaning, unemployment)
– medical costs
– legal costs
– vehicle damage costs

The data found in these reports can also serve to provide guidance to the Government for analysing and assessing specific investment projects. Meaning, it can serve the decision framework model for outlining specific project benefits or cost–effectiveness.


The Ministry of Transport has not yet released the 2019 Social Cost of Road Crashes and Injuries Report. This Report was due in March/April 2020.

Ministry of Transport – Social Cost of Road Crashes and Injuries : 2018 Report, Publication Date, April 2019.