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Hands on the Wheel, Eyes on the Phone: the Effect of Smart Phone Usage on Road Safety

Author

Listed:
  • Devi Brands

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Joris Klingen

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Francis Ostermeijer

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Abstract

We provide novel evidence on the effect of smart phone use on road accidents. We exploit variation in phone usage fees in the Netherlands following a change in European Union (EU) roaming regulations implemented in 2017. The growth rate of mobile data roaming increased substantially after the change, which allows us to estimate a difference-in-differences model where non-Dutch drivers from the EU are treated, while Dutch drivers serve as control group. Our results suggest that around 10% of vehicles involved in accidents can be explained by the use of smart phones, and that these accidents mainly happen on urban roads.

Suggested Citation

  • Devi Brands & Joris Klingen & Francis Ostermeijer, 2020. "Hands on the Wheel, Eyes on the Phone: the Effect of Smart Phone Usage on Road Safety," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 20-024/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20200024
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    road safety; accident risk; smart phones; urban roads;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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