Friday, August 17, 2007

No Seatbelts for Student Drivers

This story got me thinking.

If taxi drivers in Russia and the Ukraine don't wear seatbelts as way of signaling (a la Cowen) to passengers that they are safe drivers, perhaps we ought to make teenagers drive without seatbelts for a while. Or maybe all drivers should go without seatbelts.

I've got it! Give them each a dune buggy, minus seat belts, and let 'em loose!

Or maybe this only applies in places where you have to be somewhat insane to be driving at all.

Hat tip: Casnocha


Jeff said...

Landsburg has a story in Armchair Economist first made famous by Ralph Nader in the mid-90s.

Simply: mandatory seat belt laws lead to reduced fatalities but more auto accidents. The net result? Fatalities remained roughly the same while the percentage dropped.

People feel safer and able to take more risk when wearing them.

Juris Naturalist said...

The original story from Casnocha cited Landsburg's illustration as well.
Great minds...