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The Impact of Cell Phones and BAC Laws on Motor Vehicle Fatality Rates

Author

Listed:
  • Peter D. Loeb

    ()

  • William A. Clarke

    ()

  • Richard Anderson

    ()

Abstract

This paper develops a set of models for the determinants of automobile fatalities with particular attention devoted to the effects of increased cell phone usage. Cell phones have been associated with both life-taking and life-saving properties. However, prior statistical evaluations of the effects of cell phones have led to fragile results. We develop in this paper econometric models using time series data, allowing for polynomial structures of the regressors. The models are evaluated with a set of specification error tests providing reliable estimates of the effects of the various policy and driving related variables evaluated. The statistical results indicate the effect of cell phones is non-monotonic depending on the volume of phones in use, first having a net life-taking effect, then a net life-saving effect, followed finally with a net life-taking effect as the volume of phone use increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter D. Loeb & William A. Clarke & Richard Anderson, 2007. "The Impact of Cell Phones and BAC Laws on Motor Vehicle Fatality Rates," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2007-003, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  • Handle: RePEc:run:wpaper:2007-003
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    File URL: http://www.ncas.rutgers.edu/workingpaper20073
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Loeb, Peter D., 2001. "The effectiveness of seat belt legislation in reducing driver-involved injury rates in Maryland," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 297-310, August.
    2. Levy, David T & Asch, Peter, 1989. "Speeding, Coordination, and the 55-MPH Limit: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 913-915, September.
    3. Loeb, Peter D, 1995. "The Effectiveness of Seat-Belt Legislation in Reducing Injury Rates in Texas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 81-84, May.
    4. Loeb, Peter D & Lin, Vincent, 1977. "Research and Development in the Pharmaceutical Industry-A Specification Error Approach," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 45-51, September.
    5. Snyder, Donald, 1989. "Speeding, Coordination, and the 55-MPH Limit: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 922-925, September.
    6. Fowles, Richard & Loeb, Peter D, 1989. "Speeding, Coordination, and the 55-MPH Limit: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 916-921, September.
    7. Loeb, Peter D. & Clarke, William A., 2007. "The determinants of truck accidents," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 442-452, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Sperber & Alan Shiell & Ken Fyie, 2010. "The cost-effectiveness of a law banning the use of cellular phones by drivers," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(10), pages 1212-1225.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Motor Vehicle Fatalities; Cell Phones; BAC Laws;

    JEL classification:

    • L9 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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