Feb 9, 2012

Road accidents

I am driving through eastern Guatemala and saw several road accidents, as usual. I did not find a paper on this issue for Guatemala, but did found this interesting paper for India:
[O]ur study suggests that increased enforcement of road traffic rules can lower road traffic crash fatality rates. In our sample, if mean expenditure per policeman is increased by 10%, the fatality rate is reduced, for instance, by 2%. Second, urbanization strongly increases pedestrian fatalities. These can possibly be best prevented by clearly separating pedestrians and vehicle users, for instance through the construction of side walks, traffic lights and properly indicated bus stops. Third, we find a clear female bias in the mortality among vulnerable road users. Hence, awareness campaigns should particularly target women, for instance to promote the use of helmets on motorbikes. Fourth, we find that certain religious groups are less involved in accidents than others. Although we cannot control for the intensity of road use, this suggests that road users behavior may differ across religious groups and that awareness and behavioral change campaigns should be targeted at those groups with more involvement. We think our findings may also apply to other countries, in particular those that are also still in the phase where fatalities per population are increasing, not decreasing, with income. More micro data covering information about road users risk attitude, risk knowledge and risk exposure would further enrich this kind of analysis.

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