Traffic. If you commute in an urban area then traffic is the equivalent of a four letter word. It slows you down and takes time away from work and family. Pennsylvania traffic congestion is undeniably a problem that deserves attention.
However, a recent AAA study found that traffic, while annoying and expensive, costs much less than accidents. In the metro Philadelphia area, for example, accidents were estimated to cost $8,722,000,000 in 2009. In comparison, traffic in the metro Philadelphia was estimated to cost $3,274,000,000.
Neither number is negligible. Both accidents and traffic deserve the attention of state policymakers and transportation officials. However, as a lawyer for accident victims I can’t help but notice that the cost of accidents is significantly larger. That is consistent with what I hear from my clients. While traffic is frustrating, it does not bring with it the physical and emotional pain of an accident. Thus, as future transportation priorities are identified and road plans approved, it is important to keep safety in mind, as well as traffic flow.