The Impact of Handheld Legislation on Traffic Fatalities: Evidence from a Temporal Regression Discontinuity Design
24 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2019
Date Written: September 16, 2019
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: Suggested Citation