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Did California's hand-held cell phone ban reduce accidents?

  • Nicholas E. Burger

    (RAND)

  • Daniel T. Kaffine

    ()

    (Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines)

  • Bo Yu

    (Division of Mathematics and Computer Science, Colorado School of Mines)

On July 1st, 2008, California enacted a ban on hand-held cell phone use while driving. Using California Highway Patrol panel accident data for California freeways from January 1st, 2008 to December 31st, 2008, we examine whether this policy reduced the number of accidents on California highways. To control for unobserved time-varying effects that could be correlated with the ban, we use high-frequency data and a regression discontinuity design. We find no evidence that the ban on hand-held cell phone use led to a reduction in traffic accidents.

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File URL: http://econbus.mines.edu/working-papers/wp201308.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business in its series Working Papers with number 2013-08.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mns:wpaper:wp201308
Contact details of provider: Postal: Golden, Colorado 80401
Phone: (303) 273-3480
Fax: (303) 273-3416
Web page: http://econbus.mines.edu/
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  1. Christopher Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin, 2007. "The Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Mortality: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from the Minimum Drinking Age," NBER Working Papers 13374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James E. Prieger & Robert W. Hahn, 2005. "The Impact of Driver Cell Phone Use on Accidents," Working Papers 520, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  3. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
  4. David C. Grabowski & Michael A. Morrisey, 2004. "Gasoline prices and motor vehicle fatalities," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 575-593.
  5. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," NBER Working Papers 14723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nikolaev, Alexander G. & Robbins, Matthew J. & Jacobson, Sheldon H., 2010. "Evaluating the impact of legislation prohibiting hand-held cell phone use while driving," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 182-193, March.
  7. James E. Prieger & Robert W. Hahn, 2007. "Are Drivers Who Use Cell Phones Inherently Less Safe?," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 53(4), pages 327-352.
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