Teenage Driving, Mortality, and Risky Behaviors

68 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2020 Last revised: 29 Apr 2021

See all articles by Jason Huh

Jason Huh

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Julian Reif

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Date Written: October 2020


We investigate the effect of teenage driving on mortality and risky behaviors in the United States using a regression discontinuity design. We estimate that motor vehicle fatalities rise by 40% at the minimum legal driving age cutoff, implying a mortality risk per additional mile driven 6-9 times higher than the risk faced by adult drivers. We also find a stark 80% increase in female deaths from drug overdoses and carbon monoxide poisoning at the cutoff, caused by changes in both suicides and accidental deaths. Our analysis suggests driving regulations could be an effective tool to improve teenage health.

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Suggested Citation

Huh, Jason and Reif, Julian, Teenage Driving, Mortality, and Risky Behaviors (October 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27933, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3709623

Jason Huh (Contact Author)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ( email )

110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.jason-huh.com

Julian Reif

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.julianreif.com

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