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Did California's hand-held cell phone ban reduce accidents?

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Author Info

  • Nicholas E. Burger

    (RAND)

  • Daniel T. Kaffine

    ()
    (Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines)

  • Bo Yu

    (Division of Mathematics and Computer Science, Colorado School of Mines)

Abstract

On July 1st, 2008, California enacted a ban on hand-held cell phone use while driving. Using California Highway Patrol panel accident data for California freeways from January 1st, 2008 to December 31st, 2008, we examine whether this policy reduced the number of accidents on California highways. To control for unobserved time-varying effects that could be correlated with the ban, we use high-frequency data and a regression discontinuity design. We find no evidence that the ban on hand-held cell phone use led to a reduction in traffic accidents.

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File URL: http://econbus.mines.edu/working-papers/wp201308.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business in its series Working Papers with number 2013-08.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mns:wpaper:wp201308

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Golden, Colorado 80401
Phone: (303) 273-3480
Fax: (303) 273-3416
Web page: http://econbus.mines.edu/
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Related research

Keywords: Cell phone ban; traffic safety; regression discontinuity;

References

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  1. Hahn, Robert W. & Prieger, James E., 2004. "The Impact of Driver Cell Phone Use on Accidents," Working paper 68, Regulation2point0.
  2. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
  3. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs In Economics," Working Papers 1118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. David C. Grabowski & Michael A. Morrisey, 2004. "Gasoline prices and motor vehicle fatalities," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 575-593.
  5. Nikolaev, Alexander G. & Robbins, Matthew J. & Jacobson, Sheldon H., 2010. "Evaluating the impact of legislation prohibiting hand-held cell phone use while driving," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 182-193, March.
  6. James E. Prieger & Robert W. Hahn, 2007. "Are Drivers Who Use Cell Phones Inherently Less Safe?," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 53(4), pages 327-352.
  7. 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.
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