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Gas prices, beer taxes and GDL programmes: effects on auto fatalities among young adults in the US

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  • Michael Morrisey
  • David Grabowski

Abstract

Efforts to reduce teenage driving fatalities can be categorized as: enhancing driving skills, constraining driving behaviour and limiting the exposure of young drivers to the road. This article uses state-year specific Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data on the motor vehicle fatalities of young adults aged 15-24 to estimate the effects of gasoline prices, beer taxes and the enactment of Graduated Drivers License (GDL) programmes over the 1985-2006 period. Results indicate that a 10% increase in gasoline prices reduce fatalities by 3.2-6.2%. The largest percentage reductions occurred among 15- to 17-year-old drivers. 10% higher beer taxes were estimated to reduce motor vehicle fatalities among young drivers by approximately 1.3%. In this case, there was virtually no effect on 15- to 17-year-old drivers. Finally, the introduction of more restrictive GDL programmes, those with a 6-month learner's permit phase and subsequent limits on early nighttime driving or on the number of passengers, reduced fatalities among 15- to 17-year-old drivers by 24%. The effects on 18- to 21-year-old drivers were smaller and the weakest GDL programmes had no effect on fatalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Morrisey & David Grabowski, 2011. "Gas prices, beer taxes and GDL programmes: effects on auto fatalities among young adults in the US," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(25), pages 3645-3654.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:25:p:3645-3654
    DOI: 10.1080/00036841003670796
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul J. Burke & Shuhei Nishitateno, 2015. "Gasoline Prices And Road Fatalities: International Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(3), pages 1437-1450, July.
    2. Paul J. Burke & Ataklti Teame, 2018. "Fuel Prices and Road Deaths in Australia," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 37(2), pages 146-161, June.
    3. French, Michael T. & Gumus, Gulcin, 2014. "Macroeconomic fluctuations and motorcycle fatalities in the U.S," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 187-193.

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