Things Interpretations Dimensions

Measuring Size: traffic victims

Daniel Wyss

In Switzerland a dead traffic victim is worth 2.94 million Swiss francs1

Almost three million Swiss francs1 are estimated as the "value of a statistical life".4 The economy thus establishes the average value of a human life – a statistical and not a real one.2 The objection is raised that measuring human life as a cash value is questionable in view of the fact of the "infinite value" of a human life.3 In order to estimate this value, the social willingness to pay to rescue a human life is estimated. How high, for instance, are the costs per accident victim in road traffic? Direct costs for medical treatment and indirect costs for administration (police, judiciary, and insurance), as well as immaterial costs. There is no market price for the immaterial costs, because "costs" for pain, suffering, as well as the "value" of a human life are ascertained with the "value of a statistical life".4 In more recent studies, this is computed according to the lost years of life. Nevertheless, the statisticians, too, note that this computation is plagued by great uncertainties.




see Bibliography here ‹Measuring size: normal weight›


Serena Lo Presti, MKB