Car Accidents and 3G Coverage: New Evidence Using Cell Phone Tower Construction

44 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2019

See all articles by Jonathan Samuel Hersh

Jonathan Samuel Hersh

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics

Bree J. Lang

University of California, Riverside (UCR)

Matthew Lang

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 14, 2019

Abstract

We examine the relationship between the growth of 3G cellular coverage and traffic accidents in California between 2001 and 2013. Using machine learning techniques to predict historical 3G coverage, we find that car accident rates increase after 3G coverage is introduced, controlling for traffic volume and road fixed effects. The accidents most responsive to 3G coverage are non-severe crashes that take place in highly trafficked areas. Accidents caused by drivers over 65 do not change in response to 3G coverage. In contrast to previous research examining cell phone laws, we find a positive relationship between accidents and cell phone use.

Keywords: cellular phone coverage, car accidents, machine learning, random forest

JEL Classification: R41, C52, O33

Suggested Citation

Hersh, Jonathan Samuel and Lang, Bree J. and Lang, Matthew, Car Accidents and 3G Coverage: New Evidence Using Cell Phone Tower Construction (August 14, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3437545 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3437545

Jonathan Samuel Hersh

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics ( email )

333 N. Glassell
Orange, CA 92866
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jonathan-hersh.com

Bree J. Lang (Contact Author)

University of California, Riverside (UCR) ( email )

900 University Avenue
Riverside, CA 92521
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/breejoneslang/

Matthew Lang

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - Department of Economics ( email )

900 University Avenue
4136 Sproul Hall
Riverside, CA 92521
United States

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