This content is not included in your SAE MOBILUS subscription, or you are not logged in.
Costs, Benefits, Effectiveness and Safety: Setting The Record Straight
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published February 01, 1974 by SAE International in United States
Annotation ability available
The concepts of “cost-benefit” and “cost-effectiveness” are increasingly cropping up in debate over present and future motor vehicle standards. Often they are introduced to attack, or justify, a particular standard. Just as often, they are misunderstood and misused.
Since a motor vehicle safety performance standard has no costs per se, it cannot be evaluated either in cost-benefit or cost-effectiveness terms. It is the particular design alternatives available to manufacturers to achieve the objectives of a standard that have societal costs. The various design alternatives can be evaluated.
Cost-effective designs should be chosen to minimize societal costs, and until there is evidence that cost-effective designs have been chosen, cost-benefit studies are premature.
Even then, because of the major conceptual and methodological difficulties in the valuation of life and limb, cost-benefit studies will be appropriate only in the evaluation of designs not primarily intended to save lives and reduce injuries -- that is, vehicle designs to reduce property damage. Until manufacturers are forthcoming with accurate cost data, neither cost-effectiveness nor cost-benefit studies in this field can be relied upon. Pending legislation may resolve this.
CitationO'Neill, B. and Kelley, A., "Costs, Benefits, Effectiveness and Safety: Setting The Record Straight," SAE Technical Paper 740988, 1974, https://doi.org/10.4271/740988.
- National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, Public Law 89-563, September 9, 1966.
- Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act, Public Law 92-513, October 20, 1972.
- Mishan E. J., “Cost-Benefit Analysis.” New York, N.Y.: Praeger Publishers, 1971.
- Adams J. G. U., “London's Third Airport.” Geograph J., Vol. 137, 1971.
- Schelling T. C., “The Life You Save May Be Your Own.” Problems in Public Expenditure Analysis, Brookings Institution, 1968, pp. 127-176.
- Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on School Bus Passenger Crash Protection,” Federal Register, Vol. 39, No. 147, July 30, 1974, pp. 27585-27589.
- Goodwin P. B., “On the Evaluation of Human Life in Accident Studies.” Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 5, 1973, pp. 287-293.
- Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Societal Costs of Motor Vehicle Accidents.” Preliminary Report, April 1972.
- Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology, “Cumulative Regulatory Effects on the Cost of Automotive Transportation (RECAT).” Final Report, February 28, 1972.
- Lave L. and Weber W., “A Benefit Cost Analysis of Auto Safety Features.” Applied Economics, Vol. 2, 1970.
- Joksch H. C., “A Critical Appraisal of the Applicability of Benefit Cost Analysis to Highway Traffic Safety.” Prepared for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, October 1974.
- Fabrycky W. J. and Thuesen G. J., “Economic Decision Analysis.” Englewood-Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1974.
- Hearings Before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, 89th Congress, 2nd Session, on HR 13228, “Part 2, Traffic Safety,” p. 1203.
- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 215, “Exterior Protection.” Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Part 571.215, October 1, 1973.
- Nordeen D. L., “An Analysis of the Cost Effectiveness of 1974 Bumper Systems,” Private Communication: Nordeen D. L., 1032 Whitiman Drive, East Lansing, Michigan 48823, 24 July 1974.
- Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Transportation Systems Center, “Damage Resistant Bumpers.” TSC Report No. (DP-SP-30), July 19, 1974.
- Ford Motor Company, Comments on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Docket No. 74-11, Notice 2 and 73-19, Notice 3, August 23, 1974.
- General Motors Corporation, “General Motors Benefit-Cost Analysis of 1973 Exterior Protection Systems and Field Evaluation of 1973 Automobile Collision Losses, USG 1045, Part II.” Attachment to General Motors' Comments to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Docket No. 74-11, Notice 2 and 73-19, Notice 3, August 20, 1974.
- Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Motor Vehicle Safety and Damage Standards.” Federal Register, Vol. 39, No. 132, July 9, 1974, pp. 25237-25240.
- Casassa J. II, Sorenson W. W. and Gardner R. E., “Bumpers: Effective, But How Cost Beneficial?” Paper 740986 presented at SAE International Automobile Engineering and Manufacturing Meeting, Toronto, October 1974.
- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 202, “Head Restraints.” Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Part 571.202, October 1, 1973.
- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 301, “Fuel Tanks, Fuel Tank Filler Pipes, and Fuel Tank Connections.” Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Part 571.301, October 1, 1973.
- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 211, “Wheel Nuts, Wheel Discs, and Hub Caps.” Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Part 571.211, October 1, 1973.
- Gloyns P. F., “The Impact Performance on Some Designs of Steering Assembly in Real Accidents and Under Test Conditions.” Department of Transportation and Environmental Planning, University of Birmingham, England, December 1973.
- Garrett J. W. and Hendricks D. L., “Factors Influencing the Performance of the Energy Absorbing Steering Columns in Accidents.” Calspan Corporation, Buffalo, N.Y. Presented at the 5th International Technical Conference on Experimental Safety Vehicles, London, England, June 1974.
- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 203, “Impact Protection for the Driver from the Steering Control System.” Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Part 571.203, October 1, 1973.
- John DeLorean Corporation, Briefing to Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Occupant Crash Protection, September 17, 1974.
- Volvo of America Corporation, Letter to U.S. General Accounting Office, May 29, 1974.
- Government Accounting Office, “Need to Improve Benefit-Cost Analyses in Setting Motor Vehicle Safety Standards,” Report No. B-164497(3), July 22, 1974.
- Section 105, House Report No. 93-1452 on S. 355, Congressional Record, p. H 10184, October 8, 1974.