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Estimating the Impact of Seat Belt Use on Traffic Fatalities: Empirical Evidence from Canada

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Author Info

  • Anindya Sen
  • Brent Mizzen

Abstract

This study contributes to the literature by using provincial data in Canada between 1980 and 1996 to analyze the effect of seat belt use on traffic fatalities. Empirical estimates from first stage instrumental-variables regressions suggest that the enactment of mandatory seat belt laws is significantly associated with an increase in average seat belt use, while corresponding estimates from second stage regressions imply that a 1 percent increase in average seat belt use is correlated with a 0.17­0.21 percent drop in vehicle-occupant fatalities. These results suggest that roughly 17 percent of the observed decline in vehicle-occupant fatalities is attr ibutable to the enactment of mandatory seat belt legislation and the corresponding increase in seat belt use. Keywords:

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 33 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 315-336

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:33:y:2007:i:3:p:315-336

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Postal: University of Toronto Press Journals Division 5201 Dufferin Street Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3H 5T8
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References

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  1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1995. "Alcohol Policies and Highway Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 5195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sass, Tim R & Zimmerman, Paul R, 2000. "Motorcycle Helmet Laws and Motorcyclist Fatalities," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 195-215, November.
  3. Singh, Harinder & Thayer, Mark, 1992. "Impact of Seat Belt Use on Driving Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(4), pages 649-58, October.
  4. Robert S. Chirinko & Edward P. Harper, Jr., 1992. "Buckle-Up or Slow-Down? New Estimates of Offsetting Behavior and Their Implications for Automobile Safety Regulation," Working Papers 9207, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  5. Peterson, Steven & Hoffer, George & Millner, Edward, 1995. "Are Drivers of Air-Bag-Equipped Cars More Aggressive? A Test of the Offsetting Behavior Hypothesis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 251-64, October.
  6. McCarthy, Patrick S., 1999. "Public policy and highway safety: a city-wide perspective," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 231-244, March.
  7. Evans, William N & Graham, John D, 1991. " Risk Reduction or Risk Compensation? The Case of Mandatory Safety-Belt Use Laws," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 61-73, January.
  8. Young, Douglas J. & Likens, Thomas W., 2000. "Alcohol Regulation and Auto Fatalities," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 107-126, March.
  9. Garbacz, Christopher, 1990. "Estimating seat belt effectiveness with seat belt usage data from the Centers for Disease Control," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 83-88, September.
  10. Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Saffer & Michael Grossman, 1993. "Alcohol Control Policies and Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 3831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bae, Yong-Kyun, 2011. "Primary Seat Belt Laws and Offsetting Behavior: Empirical Evidence from Individual Accident Data," MPRA Paper 30443, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Benedettini, Simona & Nicita, Antonio, 2012. "The costs of avoiding accidents: Selective compliance and the ‘Peltzman effect’ in Italy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 256-270.
  3. Antonio Nicita & Simona Benedettini, 2012. "The Costs of Avoiding Accidents.Selective Compliance and the 'Peltzman Effect' in Italy," Department of Economics University of Siena 631, Department of Economics, University of Siena.

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