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The Impact of Driver Cell Phone Use on Accidents

  • James E. Prieger
  • Robert W. Hahn

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Cell phone use is increasing worldwide, leading to a concern that cell phone use while driving increases accidents. We develop a new approach for estimating the relationship between cell phone use while driving and accidents, based on new survey data. We test for selection effects, such as whether drivers who use cell phones are inherently less safe drivers, even when not on the phone. The paper has two key findings. First, the impact of cell phone use on accidents varies across the population. This result implies that previous estimates of the impact of cell phone use on risk for the population, based on accident-only samples, may therefore be overstated by 36%. Second, once we correct for endogeneity, there is no significant effect of hands-free or hand-held cell phone use on accidents.

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File URL: http://wp.econ.ucdavis.edu/05-20.pdf
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Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 520.

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Length: 55
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:05-20
Contact details of provider: Postal: One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616-8578
Phone: (530) 752-0741
Fax: (530) 752-9382
Web page: http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu
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  1. Eissa, Nada & Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 2004. "Taxes and the labor market participation of married couples: the earned income tax credit," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1931-1958, August.
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  3. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-29, June.
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  5. Eissa, Nada & Liebman, Jeffrey B, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-37, May.
  6. John Shea, 1997. "Does Parents' Money Matter?," NBER Working Papers 6026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-88, January.
  8. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2005. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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