HAS INCREASED BODY WEIGHT MADE DRIVING SAFER?
Article first published online: 30 AUG 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 23, Issue 11, pages 1374–1389, November 2014
How to Cite
2014), HAS INCREASED BODY WEIGHT MADE DRIVING SAFER?, Health Econ., 23, pages 1374–1389, doi: 10.1002/hec.2991and (
- Issue published online: 5 OCT 2014
- Article first published online: 30 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 19 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 29 NOV 2012
- drunk driving;
- alcohol consumption
We develop a model of alcohol consumption that incorporates the negative biological relationship between body mass and inebriation conditional on total alcohol consumption. Our model predicts that the elasticity of inebriation with respect to weight is equal to the own-price elasticity of alcohol, consistent with body mass increasing the effective price of inebriation. Given that alcohol is generally considered price inelastic, this result implies that as individuals gain weight, they consume more alcohol but become less inebriated. We test this prediction and find that driver blood alcohol content (BAC) is negatively associated with driver weight. In fatal accidents with driver BAC above 0.10, the driver was 7.8 percentage points less likely to be obese than drivers in fatal accidents that did not involve alcohol. This relationship is not explained by driver attributes (age and sex), driver behaviors (speed and seatbelt use), vehicle attributes (weight class, model year, and number of occupants), or accident context (county of accident, time of day, and day of week). Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.