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The Fatality Risks of Sport-Utility Vehicles, Vans and Pickups


  • Ted Gayer


This paper presents a model of vehicle choice and empirically examines the risk posed by light trucks (sport-utility vehicles, vans, and pickups) to those that drive them and to other drivers, relative to the risk posed by cars. It compares the relative risk of dying and the relative crash frequencies of light trucks versus cars. The identification strategy uses information on pedestrian fatalities by vehicle type to correct for the sample selection bias that may exist due to the lack of reliable data on non-fatal crashes. Using data on all two-vehicle fatal crashes from 1991 through 1998, the results suggest that a light truck driver is 0.29 to 0.69 times as likely to die than is a car driver and is 1.48 to 2.63 times as likely to kill the opposing driver than is a car driver. Other data suggest that light trucks are approximately 2.2 times as likely to get into a crash than are cars.

Suggested Citation

  • Ted Gayer, 2001. "The Fatality Risks of Sport-Utility Vehicles, Vans and Pickups," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2001_10, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  • Handle: RePEc:eei:rpaper:eeri_rp_2001_10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen Nickell, 2003. "Employment and Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 1109, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Perron, Pierre, 1989. "The Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1361-1401, November.
    3. Monacelli, Tommaso, 2004. "Into the Mussa puzzle: monetary policy regimes and the real exchange rate in a small open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 191-217, January.
    4. Perron, Pierre, 1990. "Testing for a Unit Root in a Time Series with a Changing Mean," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(2), pages 153-162, April.
    5. Mussa, Michael, 1986. "Nominal exchange rate regimes and the behavior of real exchange rates: Evidence and implications," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 117-214, January.
    6. Friedman, Milton, 1976. "Inflation and Unemployment," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1976-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
    7. Razzak, W. A., 1991. "Target zone exchange rate," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 63-70, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ian W. H. Parry & Kenneth A. Small, 2005. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1276-1289, September.
    2. Cao, XinYu, 2007. "The Causal Relationship between the Built Environment and Personal Travel Choice: Evidence from Northern California," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt1n90z8h8, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    3. Cao, Xinyu, 2006. "The Causal Relationship between the Built Environment and Personal Travel Choice: Evidence from Northern California," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt07q5p340, University of California Transportation Center.

    More about this item


    Sample Selection Bias; Externalities; Public Health;

    JEL classification:

    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General


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