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State motor vehicle laws and older drivers

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  • Michael A. Morrisey
  • David C. Grabowski

Abstract

After teenage males, elderly individuals have the highest per capita motor vehicle fatality rate in the United States. Surprisingly, there has been only limited work examining the effect of state motor vehicle laws on older driver fatalities. This paper uses state‐level data from the 1985–2000 Fatality Analysis Reporting System to examine the effects of changes in state laws dealing with license renewal, seatbelt use, speed limits, and driving while intoxicated on fatalities among drivers and others aged 65 and over. Negative binomial regressions are estimated using alternatively state and year fixed effects, or age and year fixed effects. In‐person license renewal reduced fatalities among the oldest drivers, but vision tests, road tests and the length of the license renewal cycle generally did not. In terms of policies that apply to all drivers, seatbelt laws, particularly with primary enforcement, were generally the only policies that reduced older driver fatalities. These results are noteworthy because a number of policies that have been effective towards increasing younger driver safety are not relevant for older drivers, implying that policymakers must think broadly about using state laws to improve older driver safety. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael A. Morrisey & David C. Grabowski, 2005. "State motor vehicle laws and older drivers," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 407-419, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:14:y:2005:i:4:p:407-419
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.955
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    Cited by:

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    2. D. Mark Anderson & Benjamin Hansen & Daniel I. Rees, 2013. "Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(2), pages 333-369.
    3. Cotti Chad & Tefft Nathan, 2011. "Decomposing the Relationship between Macroeconomic Conditions and Fatal Car Crashes during the Great Recession: Alcohol- and Non-Alcohol-Related Accidents," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-24, August.
    4. French, Michael T. & Gumus, Gulcin & Homer, Jenny F., 2012. "Motorcycle fatalities among out-of-state riders and the role of universal helmet laws," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(10), pages 1855-1863.
    5. Anderson, D. Mark & Sandholt, Sina, 2016. "Booster Seats and Traffic Fatalities among Children," IZA Discussion Papers 10071, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Bisakha Sen & Christine M. Campbell, 2010. "Alcohol Prevalence, Alcohol Policies, And Child Fatal Injury Rates From Motor Vehicle Crashes," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(3), pages 392-405, July.
    7. 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.

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