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Safety for whom? The effects of light trucks on traffic fatalities

  • Anderson, Michael

Light trucks have doubled their share of the vehicle fleet from 1980 to 2004. This paper examines the effects of this increase on traffic safety, combining estimates from a state-level panel data set with an accident-level micro-data set. The results suggest that a one-percentage point increase in light truck share raises annual traffic fatalities by 0.34%, or 143 deaths per year. Of this increase, approximately one-fifth accrue to the light trucks' own occupants, and the remaining four-fifths accrue to the occupants of other vehicles and pedestrians. Using standard value of life figures, the implied Pigovian tax is approximately 3850 dollars per light truck sold. Overall, light trucks pose a significant hazard to other users of the highway system but on average provide no additional protection to their own occupants.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 973-989

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:4:p:973-989
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Steven D. Levitt & Jack Porter, 2001. "How Dangerous Are Drinking Drivers?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(6), pages 1198-1237, December.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  3. Crandall, Robert W & Graham, John D, 1989. "The Effect of Fuel Economy Standards on Automobile Safety," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 97-118, April.
  4. Christopher Ruhm, 1994. "Economic Conditions and Alcohol Problems," NBER Working Papers 4914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 27-28, January.
  7. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. " The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
  8. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 2-16, January.
  9. Michener, Ron & Tighe, Carla, 1992. "A Poisson Regression Model of Highway Fatalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 452-56, May.
  10. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Ted Gayer, 2004. "The Fatality Risks of Sport-Utility Vehicles, Vans, and Pickups Relative to Cars," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 103-133, 03.
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