The first part of this study summarizes the technical literature on the lifesaving potential of automobile safety devices. The second explains why economic theory suggests that this potential might be overstated. The main part of the study establishes empirically the net effect of auto safety regulation on the highway death rate. The evidence is broadly consistent with some increase in driver risk-taking since the advent of safety regulation. The fact that risk-taking does seem to have increased makes it plausible to assume that regulation has lowered the real costs of an accident by more than market forces would have permitted, but in doing so it has stimulated an off-setting series of driver responses. The last section examines the implications of the evidence for public policy. (MW)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Evaluative Studies Series.
  • Corporate Authors:

    American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

    1150 17th Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20036
  • Authors:
    • Peltzman, S
  • Publication Date: 1975-12

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 57 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00144393
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: AEI-26, HS-030 073
  • Files: HSL, TRIS
  • Created Date: May 31 1983 12:00AM