This paper estimates the incidence and costs of lower limb injuries in highway crashes. Injury incidence came from NHTSA data sets. Costs were upgraded in several ways from previously published esitmates. Notable were an update of housework loss estimates using 1991 household structures, use of improved medical costs inflators, an improved algorithm for estimating legal expenses, and introduction of policy limits into the modelling of insurance claims administration costs.
Lower limb injuries in police-reported highway crashes cost an estimated $29.5 billion in 1993. The estimated costs include $21.5 billion in passenger occupant injury costs and $8 billion in cyclist and pedestrian costs.
Lower limb injuries to drivers and right front seat passengers over age 5 in frontal collisions with no rollover or ejection were assessed in detail. The cost $8.2 billion. This total includes the costs of 662 fatalities. Nine percent of the cost results from lower limb injuries that are not the victim's more life-threatening injury.
Average lower limb injury severity is highest for pedestrains and cyclists. It is lowest for front seat occupants in frontal collisions. In these crashes, unbelted occupants typically suffer more severe lower limb injuries than belted occupants.