The Accident Externality from Trucking: Evidence from Shale Gas Development

A heavy truck imposes an externality if its presence causes traffic accidents for which it is not held liable. The authors obtain an estimate of the increase in accidents that occur when a truck is added to a road, using quasi-experimental variation in the influx of truck traffic during the shale gas boom in Pennsylvania. The authors find evidence that adding trucks to a road is relatively safe for the trucks themselves, but less so for other cars on the road. They find an increase in the number of car accidents when there is an additional truck on the road. While the authors find an increase in car-accident counts, the additional accidents on city streets and rural roads are not more severe, and on highways even are less severe. They find suggestive evidence that the accident externality of trucking reverberates to even more road users through higher car insurance premiums.


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  • Accession Number: 01769770
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 28 2021 3:18PM