Fuel prices and road deaths: motorcyclists are different

Author name: 
Zhang T
Burke PJ

This study estimates the effect of gasoline prices on road deaths by vehicle mode using annual data for 62 countries for 2000–2018 and all states of the United States (US) for 1998–2018. Higher gasoline prices are associated with fewer overall road deaths. The proportional effect on motorcyclist deaths tends to be smaller or even have the opposite sign, especially in countries that are not highly dependent on motorcycles. For the US, a positive effect of gasoline prices on motorcyclist deaths is found, with an elasticity of about 0.3. There is also a positive relationship between gasoline prices and motorcycle registrations in the US. The results confirm that additional attention towards motorcyclist safety is warranted in times of high fuel prices.

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