Road Traffic Mortality and Economic Uncertainty: Evidence from the United States

Panos Kanavos, Sotiris Vandoros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Previous studies have shown that financial turbulence is associated with a short-term increase in road traffic collisions, largely due to drivers’ emotional state, distraction, sleep deprivation and alcohol consumption. In this paper we advance this debate by studying the association between economic uncertainty and road traffic mortality in the United States. We used a State-level uncertainty index and State fatalities for the period 2008–2017 and found that a one standard deviation increase in economic uncertainty is associated with an additional 0.013 monthly deaths per 100,000 people per State, on average (a 1.1% increase) - or 40 more monthly deaths in total nationwide. Results are robust to different model specifications. Our findings show that, similar to drink-driving, it is important to raise awareness about driving when distracted due to financial worries and during periods of economic uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115891
JournalSocial Science & Medicine
Early online date24 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


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