Monday, July 17, 2006

4WD drivers really as bad as we thought - World -

They found the 4WD drivers were almost four times more likely than car drivers to be using a mobile phone, and 26 per cent more likely not to wear a seatbelt.
. . .
"Although 4WD vehicles are safer in a crash, their owners may be placing themselves and other road users at increased risk of injury," she said. "They take the risk because they are higher up, they feel they can see better … but the person in a car or the pedestrian on the road has a much worse outcome."
What do you think? Would these results be replicated in the UAE? This is spooky:

Some features of the design of four wheel drive vehicles,
especially tinted windows, meant that we had more missing data
for drivers of those vehicles than for drivers of normal cars.
Link via Newmark's Door. It's called the Peltzman Effect. Those freaky microeconomists. What will they think of next? Here's a macroeconomist who has his doubts about the Peltzman Effect.

UPDATE: The SMH article also had this quotation
[Study co-author Lesley Walker] said "breaking one law was significantly associated with increased likelihood of breaking the other". Previous studies from the US, Britain and Australia have shown that using a mobile phone while driving is associated with a fourfold increase in the risk of having an accident.

That means drivers of four-wheel-drives are 16 times more likely to have an accident than other drivers because they are four times more likely to use a mobile while driving, she said.
Mankiw shows why this inference is incorrect -- which I confess I did not catch in my read. Perhaps the headline, "4WD drivers really as bad as we thought", should read "4WD drivers really as bad as we thought, but not that bad."

UPDATE 2: Some have criticized the 4WD study on the ground that those who select 4WD vehicles are also more likely to be aggressive drivers - not that the 4WD vehicle causes you to drive more aggressively. However, mandatory safety equipment in NASCAR also appears to lead to riskier driving.


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