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The silver lining to high gas prices
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, July 12, 2008

Is there one? You bet - and it isn't a reduction in "greenhouse gasses":
Today's high gas prices could cut auto deaths by nearly a third as driving decreases, with the effect particularly dramatic among price-sensitive teenage drivers, the authors of a new study say. Professors Michael Morrisey of the University of Alabama and David Grabowski of Harvard Medical School found that for every 10 percent increase in gas prices there was a 2.3 percent decline in auto deaths. For drivers ages 15 to 17 the decline was 6 percent and for ages 18 to 21 it was 3.2 percent. Annual auto deaths in the U.S. typically range from about 38,000 to 40,000 a year.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

...for every 10 percent increase in gas prices there was a 2.3 percent decline in auto deaths.
I wonder how permanent that effect is. When gas prices go up, the automakers are pressured to make cars more fuel efficient. The easiest way to do that is to make the cars lighter. That makes the cars less safe, and the death rate goes up. At least, that’s what happened after the previous rise in CAFE standards.

I think we’ll see a lot of the law of unintended consequences.
Written By: Rory Daulton
The drop in consumption as americans start cutting back on driving and taking fuel-saving measures has meant that federal revenue is down... The fund that is used for Highways and such is apparently going to be empty come next year...
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I’m with Rory, here. Just wait until the smaller cars start getting higher in population again. The death rates will come back.
Written By: Bithead
Yeah, but people not dying isn’t a good thing. I mean, they exhale more carbon dioxide. And they’ll be a burden on Social Security. Plus, their jobs won’t be available to the out-of-work, so unemployment will be higher.
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
A friend of mine is a Trauma doctor, and he believes that the rate will increase as people increasingly drive scooters and motorcycles instead of larger, safer cars.
Written By: the Brain
URL: http://

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