My answer to A highway car crash: does the government win or lose money?
Answer by Desmond Last:
I was asked by the Thames Valley Police in Oxford to investigate the rollover of a Mini-Metro. This was of concern to them because they had a fleet of Mini-Metros.
As a Department of Transport Vehicle Examiner based in London and then Bicester, part of my Job was investigating the cause of accidents that involved Trucks (HGV), Coaches (PSV) and cars, in which a mechanical defect was considered to be the fault.
I examined the vehicle and decided that the accident had occurred because of the rear brakes locking up too early when the brakes were applied causing the driver to lose control. Subsequent testing at the Gaydon test track confirmed that it was occurring to other Mini Metro’s. The hydraulic valve which distributes brake pressure was at fault. The faulty batch was identified and the Mini -Metro was recalled.
That one accident investigated took up all of my time for several days over a period of a month and the time of many others.
It was a costly exercise both for the Government and the Manufacturer. But it ensured that there were no more accidents from that defect.
The actual accident we see on the road is one small part of the expense of an accident.
From the Police to the Fire Brigade, Ambulance crew, Hospital Staff, Coroners Court, Court and even Prison. Then there is road damage, barrier damage, Diversions and possibly changes to road signs etc. As well as the physical work here is all the admin work to back it up.
Road accidents globally resulted in 1.4 million deaths in 2013
The global economic cost of MVCs was estimated at $518 billion per year in 2003, and $100 billion in developing countries.
Which is why we need much higher standards of driving test and a zero limit for drink driving.
The Government ie the people lose. The money is not available to be spent on Social Justice.