Trends in Gasoline Prices and Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries in 28 OECD Countries, 1993-2012
Methods: We examined 20 years (1993-2012) of road safety and economic data from 28 countries reported by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Agency. The outcome variables were log-transformed injuries and fatalities per million population. The predictor variable was the total dollar price per liter of regular unleaded gasoline adjusted for inflation and purchasing power parity across countries. Regression results were adjusted for percent urban population, unemployment rate, GDP per capita, year and country fixed effects.
Results: Fixed-effects regression indicated a negative association between inflation-adjusted gasoline prices and crash injuries. A 10% increase in gasoline price was associated with a statistically significant decrease of 5.2% in motor vehicle fatality rates and a 2.4% decrease in injury rates. If the average OECD country reduced gasoline taxes to that of the US (from $1.01 to $0.14 per liter), the model predicts fatality rates would increase by 26.1% and injury rates by 12.1%.
Conclusions: An increase in gasoline price was associated with lower rates of motor vehicle injuries and fatalities in the 28 OECD countries studied. More cross-national research is needed to identify causal mechanisms underlying this association, and whether increasing gasoline prices is an effective policy option to reduce motor vehicle crashes.
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences
Evaluate the association of gas prices and motor vehicle crashes at the country level
Keyword(s): Motor Vehicles, Economic Analysis
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a tenured full professor of health policy and director of the center for health policy at UNMC.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
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