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Should You Be Allowed to Use Your Cellular Phone While Driving?

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Author Info

  • Burnett, Jason K.
  • Hahn, Robert W.
  • Tetlock, Paul C.

Abstract

Regulation of the use of cellular phones by individuals while driving is now commonplace outside the United States and has been proposed in a number of jurisdictions in the United States. There is growing concern that using cellular phones while driving leads to increases in accidents and fatalities. This paper provides an economic analysis of regulatory options for addressing cellular phone usage by drivers of vehicles. While large uncertainties surrounding both benefits and costs exist, a key conclusion is that banning drivers from using cellular phones is a bad idea. Our best estimate is that the costs of a ban are likely to exceed benefits by about $20 billion annually. Less intrusive regulation, such as requiring the use of a hands-free device that would allow a driver to use both hands for steering also is not likely to be economically justified.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Regulation2point0 in its series Working paper with number 58.

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Date of creation: Oct 2000
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Handle: RePEc:reg:wpaper:58

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Web page: http://regulation2point0.org/

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Cited by:
  1. Hahn Robert W. & Prieger James E, 2007. "The Impact of Driver Cell Phone Use on Accidents," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-39, January.
  2. Paul Teske, 2002. "Cheap talk? taking seriously market benefits expressed by consumer willingness-to-pay," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 507-513.
  3. Bhargava, Saurabh & Pathania, Vikram, 2007. "Driving Under the (Cellular) Influence: The Link Between Cell Phone Use and Vehicle Crashes," Working paper 549, Regulation2point0.

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