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Journal Article


Chi G, Brown W, Zhang X, Zheng Y. Am. J. Public Health 2015; 105(8): e119-25.


Guangqing Chi is with the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, the Population Research Institute, and the Social Science Research Institute, Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Willie Brown is with the Information Technology Laboratory, United States Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS. Xiang Zhang and Yanbing Zheng are with the Department of Statistics, University of Kentucky, Lexington.


(Copyright © 2015, American Public Health Association)






OBJECTIVES: We investigated how much time passes before gasoline price changes affect traffic crashes.

METHODS: We systematically examined 2004 to 2012 Mississippi traffic crash data by age, gender, and race. Control variables were unemployment rate, seat belt use, alcohol consumption, climate, and temporal and seasonal variations.

RESULTS: We found a positive association between higher gasoline prices and safer roads. Overall, gasoline prices affected crashes 9 to 10 months after a price change. This finding was generally consistent across age, gender, and race, with some exceptions. For those aged 16 to 19 years, gasoline price increases had an immediate (although statistically weak) effect and a lagged effect, but crashes involving those aged 25 to 34 years was seemingly unaffected by price changes. For older individuals (≥ 75 years), the lagged effect was stronger and lasted longer than did that of other age groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The results have important health policy implications for using gasoline prices and taxes to improve traffic safety. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print June 11, 2015: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302579).

Language: en


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