Why Do Some Motorbike Riders Wear a Helmet and Others Don'T? Evidence from Delhi, India
48 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2014
We focus on helmet use behavior among motorbike users in Delhi. We use a detailed data set collected for the purpose of the study. To guide our empirical analysis, we rely on a simple model in which drivers decide on self-protection and self-insurance. The empirical findings suggest that risk averse drivers are more likely to wear a helmet, there is no systematic effect on speed. Helmet use also increases with education. Drivers who show a higher awareness of road risks are both more likely to wear a helmet and to speed less. Controlling for risk awareness, we observe that drivers tend to compensate between speed and helmet use. The results can provide a basis for awareness-raising policies. Improvements to the road infrastructure bear the risk of leading to risk-compensating behavior.
Keywords: road safety, helmet use, risky health behavior, self-protection, self-insurance, India, risk-taking behavior
JEL Classification: D10, I10, I15, K42, R41
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