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Are Drivers of Air-Bag-Equipped Cars More Aggressive? A Test of the Offsetting Behavior Hypothesis

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  • Peterson, Steven
  • Hoffer, George
  • Millner, Edward

Abstract

An increasing number of researchers have hypothesized that regulatory attempts to improve automotive safety through product design would be at least partially offset by driver behavioral changes. This article analyzes two independent data sets to test whether differences in driver behavior exist between cars equipped with air bags and those not so equipped. An analysis of an insurance industry generated data set reveals that relative injury claims increase following adoption of an air bag system. Since there is no indication that the increase diminishes over time, the results appear to be attributable to offsetting behavior as opposed to a sorting of auto buyers. Analyses of 1993 Virginia State Police accident reports indicate that air-bag-equipped cars tend to be driven more aggressively and that aggressiveness appears to offset the effect of the air bag for the driver and increases the risk of death to others. Copyright 1995 by the University of Chicago.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law & Economics.

Volume (Year): 38 (1995)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 251-64

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:38:y:1995:i:2:p:251-64

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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  2. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Martinsson, Peter, 2003. "Anyone for Higher Speed Limits? - Self-Interested and Adaptive Political Preferences," Working Papers in Economics 95, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Liu, Liqun & Neilson, William S., 2006. "Endogenous private safety investment and the willingness to pay for mortality risk reductions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 2063-2074, November.
  4. Liqun Liu, 2008. "Spillover of cause-specific longevity interventions: an independent mortality risk model," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 193-201, May.
  5. John R. Lott, Jr. & John Whitley, 2001. "Safe Storage Gun Laws: Accidental Deaths, Suicides and Crime," School of Economics Working Papers 2001-06, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  6. Vollaard, B.A. & Ours, J.C. van, 2010. "Does Regulation of Built-in Security Reduce Crime? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Discussion Paper 2010-019, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  7. Daniel Albalate, 2013. "The Road against Fatalities: Infrastructure Spending vs. Regulation?," ERSA conference papers ersa13p221, European Regional Science Association.
  8. Michael Grimm & Carole Treibich, 2013. "Why Do Some Bikers Wear a Helmet and Others Don't? Evidence from Delhi, India," AMSE Working Papers 1348, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised 10 Oct 2013.
  9. Anindya Sen & Brent Mizzen, 2007. "Estimating the Impact of Seat Belt Use on Traffic Fatalities: Empirical Evidence from Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 33(3), pages 315-336, September.
  10. Grimm, Michael & Treibich, Carole, 2014. "Why Do Some Motorbike Riders Wear a Helmet and Others Don't? Evidence from Delhi, India," IZA Discussion Papers 8042, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Mad cows, terrorism and junk food: Should public policy reflect perceived or objective risks?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 234-248, March.
  12. Clifford Winston & Vikram Maheshri & Fred Mannering, 2006. "An exploration of the offset hypothesis using disaggregate data: The case of airbags and antilock brakes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 83-99, March.
  13. Djemaï, Elodie, 2009. "How do Roads Spread AIDS in Africa ? A Critique of the Received Policy Wisdom," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7315, Paris Dauphine University.
  14. Obeng, Kofi & Burkey, Mark, 2008. "Explaining crashes at intersections with red light cameras: A note," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 811-817, June.
  15. Djemaï, Elodie, 2010. "HIV-Related Risk Taking Behavior and Income Uncertainty : Empirical Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7310, Paris Dauphine University.
  16. Vereeck, Lode & Vrolix, Klara, 2007. "The social willingness to comply with the law: The effect of social attitudes on traffic fatalities," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 385-408, December.
  17. 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.
  18. McCannon, Bryan C., 2009. "Do less-violent technologies result in less violence? A theoretical investigation applied to the use of tasers by law enforcement," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-36, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  19. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2006. "Mad Cows, Terrorism and Junk Food: Should Public Policy Reflect Subjective or Objective Risks?," Working Papers in Economics 194, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

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