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The Impact of Driver Cell Phone Use on Accidents

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Author Info

  • James E. Prieger
  • Robert W. Hahn

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

Cell phone use is increasing worldwide, leading to a concern that cell phone use while driving increases accidents. We develop a new approach for estimating the relationship between cell phone use while driving and accidents, based on new survey data. We test for selection effects, such as whether drivers who use cell phones are inherently less safe drivers, even when not on the phone. The paper has two key findings. First, the impact of cell phone use on accidents varies across the population. This result implies that previous estimates of the impact of cell phone use on risk for the population, based on accident-only samples, may therefore be overstated by 36%. Second, once we correct for endogeneity, there is no significant effect of hands-free or hand-held cell phone use on accidents.

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File URL: http://wp.econ.ucdavis.edu/05-20.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 520.

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Length: 55
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:05-20

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Postal: One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616-8578
Phone: (530) 752-0741
Fax: (530) 752-9382
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Web page: http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu
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Related research

Keywords: cellular telephones and driving; safety regulation; selection effects;

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References

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  1. Burnett, Jason K. & Hahn, Robert W. & Tetlock, Paul C., 2000. "Should You Be Allowed to Use Your Cellular Phone While Driving?," Working paper 58, Regulation2point0.
  2. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-88, January.
  3. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  4. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-29, June.
  5. Hahn, Robert W. & Prieger, James E., 2004. "The Impact of Driver Cell Phone Use on Accidents," Working paper 68, Regulation2point0.
  6. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Pfann, Gerard A, 1996. "Turnover and the Dynamics of Labour Demand," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(251), pages 359-67, August.
  7. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  8. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Dudley, Patrick M. & Hahn, Robert W., 2002. "The Disconnect Between Law and Policy Analysis: A Case Study of Drivers and Cell Phones," Working paper 350, Regulation2point0.
  10. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2005. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. James E. Prieger & Robert W. Hahn, 2005. "The Impact of Driver Cell Phone Use on Accidents," Working Papers 520, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  2. Bhargava, Saurabh & Pathania, Vikram, 2007. "Driving Under the (Cellular) Influence: The Link Between Cell Phone Use and Vehicle Crashes," Working paper 549, Regulation2point0.
  3. Kolko, Jed, 2007. "Dialing While Fishtailing: How Mobile Phones, Hands-Free Laws, and Driving Conditions Interact to Affect Traffic Fatalities," MPRA Paper 4135, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Daniel Sperber & Alan Shiell & Ken Fyie, 2010. "The cost-effectiveness of a law banning the use of cellular phones by drivers," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(10), pages 1212-1225.

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