The Impact of Driver Cell Phone Use on Accidents
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.
|Date of creation:||01 Oct 2005|
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