Did California's Hand-Held Cell Phone Ban Reduce Accidents?

Published in: Transportation Research Part A, v. 66, Aug. 2014, p. 162-172

Posted on RAND.org on July 23, 2014

by Nicholas Burger, Daniel T. Kaffine, Bob Yu

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.sciencedirect.com

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

On July 1st, 2008, California enacted a ban on hand-held cell phone use while driving. Using California Highway Patrol panel accident data for California freeways from January 1st, 2008 to December 31st, 2008, we examine whether this policy reduced the number of accidents on California highways. To control for unobserved time-varying effects that could be correlated with the ban, we use high-frequency data and a regression discontinuity design. We find no evidence that the ban on hand-held cell phone use led to a reduction in traffic accidents.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.