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Traffic Accidents in Switzerland: How Hazardous Are “High Risk” Groups? An Analysis Based on Police Protocols

Summary

On January 1, 2005, Switzerland reduced the legal level of blood-alcohol concentration while driving from 0.8‰ to 0.5‰. This happend on basis of the assumption that more restrictive per mil levels increase road safety. The benefit of lower blood-alcohol levels, however, depends on whether drinking drivers indeed pose a risk for themselves and other road users. Analyses using official data of all 84,437 two-car crashes during 2001–2005 indeed show a higher relative risk of drinking to sober drivers. And, we also find evidence that prejudices against drivers with an Eastern European citizenship, contrary to recent newspaper articles, are groundless.

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Correspondence to Thomas Gautschi.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Gautschi, T., Hangartner, D. & Bütikofer, A. Traffic Accidents in Switzerland: How Hazardous Are “High Risk” Groups? An Analysis Based on Police Protocols. Swiss J Economics Statistics 143, 397–424 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03399244

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Keywords

  • traffic accidents
  • drinking
  • statistical modelling
  • estimation of risk

JEL-Classification

  • C51
  • C81
  • K42
  • R41