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Article
Are Drivers Who Use Cell Phones Inherently Less Safe?
School of Public Policy Working Papers
  • James Prieger, Pepperdine University
  • Robert W. Hahn, American Enterprise Institute
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
5-1-2007
Abstract

Mobile phone usage while driving is increasing throughout the world. In this paper, we use survey data from 7,268 U.S. drivers to estimate the relationship between mobile phone use while driving and accidents. We hypothesize that drivers who use mobile phones while driving may be more likely to get into accidents than drivers who do not, even when they are not using the phone. We find evidence for the endogeneity of mobile phone and hands-free device usage, and our analysis suggests that individuals who are more likely to use hands-free devices are more careful drivers even without them. Once we correct for the endogeneity of usage, our models predict no statistically significant increase in accidents from mobile phone usage, whether hand-held or hands-free. Our results call into question previous cost-benefit analyses of bans on mobile phone usage while driving, which typically assume that such bans will have a salutary effect.

Citation Information
James Prieger and Robert W. Hahn. "Are Drivers Who Use Cell Phones Inherently Less Safe?" (2007)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/james_prieger/14/