The Impact of Handheld Legislation on Traffic Fatalities: Evidence from a Temporal Regression Discontinuity Design

24 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2019

See all articles by Nicholas Wright

Nicholas Wright

Florida Gulf Coast University - Lutgert College of Business

Ernest Dorilas

Georgia State University

Date Written: September 16, 2019

Abstract

Distracted driving is the leading cause of vehicle crashes in the United States. Lawmakers in several states have responded to this phenomena by implementing laws aimed at restricting the use of various handheld devices while operating a vehicle. In this paper, we utilize the temporal regression discontinuity design to estimate the impact of introducing handheld legislation on the level of traffic fatalities. We find consistent evidence that introducing a law which restricts the use of handheld devices while driving results in a 22% reduction in daily traffic fatalities and reduces average fatalities by 0.64 individuals each day. These results are robust to several specification and falsification checks.

Keywords: Traffic Accident, Fatalities, Handheld Laws, Temporal RD

JEL Classification: I18, K42, R41

Suggested Citation

Wright, Nicholas and Dorilas, Ernest, The Impact of Handheld Legislation on Traffic Fatalities: Evidence from a Temporal Regression Discontinuity Design (September 16, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3454814 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3454814

Nicholas Wright (Contact Author)

Florida Gulf Coast University - Lutgert College of Business ( email )

10485 FGCU Blvd S
Fort Myers, FL 33965
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.fgcu.edu/cob/

Ernest Dorilas

Georgia State University ( email )

GA
United States

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