The social cost of road crash injuries and fatalities dropped by nearly $5 million in the Waitaki region between 2011 and 2012.
Figures released from the Transport Ministry revealed road injuries and deaths in Waitaki cost the community $37.4 million.
In 2010, the cost stood at $42.1 million, up from $31.9m in 2009. Figures for 2012 are not yet available.
The social cost includes medical, legal and vehicle damage costs. Loss of life, reduced life quality and the impact of temporary or permanent disabilities caused by crash injuries are also factored in.
Waitaki statistics show 81 crashes occurred in 2011, which resulted in six deaths. A further 17 people were seriously injured.
In 2010, 64 crashes were recorded, of which seven were fatal.
And in 2009, 83 crashes and three people died on Waitaki roads.
Waitaki District Council road safety co-ordinator Elton Crane said the social cost of one fatal crash carried a cost of about $4 million.
According to June 2011 prices, he said a serious injury crash had a social cost of about $750,000 and a minor injury crash cost about $80,000.
Between July 2011 and June 2012, Mr Crane said there were 61 minor crashes at intersections in the Waitaki District.
Those alone carried a social cost of $18 million.
"Any crash you have has a social impact," Mr Crane said.
Fatigue and drink-driving were among his listed leading causes of serious crashes.
"So much of it is so obvious, but it still happens," he said.
Oamaru police Sergeant Blair Wilkinson said the $5 million decrease could be attributed to police targeting trauma promoting offences.
"Things like speed, safety belts and alcohol," he said. "Those are the causes of the serious crashes and fatal crashes."
Mr Wilkinson said police would continue to push for prevention in 2013.
Nationally, the social cost of road crashes in 2011 amounted to about $3.14 billion, down from $3.67 billion in 2010.
Transport Ministry chief executive Martin Matthews said the reduction was largely due to a 24 per cent drop in the road toll between the two years.
In 2011, 284 people died on the roads, down from 375 in 2010.
The 2011 figure translated to a rate of 6.4 deaths per 100,000 people - the lowest rate in 60 years, Mr Matthews said.
It was encouraging, but still too high, he said.
Statistics also revealed 30 per cent of 2011's fatal crashes were linked to alcohol or drugs.
"These social costings are just one more way of reminding people of the impact crashes are having on our society," he said. "Road safety is everyone's responsibility."