How laws to reduce DWI and improve roadway safety work is not well understood. This 4-year study examines decision making of drivers as it is affected by law enforcement, and insurers, and based on our empirical findings, evaluates specific policy interventions. We will conduct/analyze data from 4 surveys;(1) 1,600 adults aged 18-54 in Raleigh and Hickory, NC;Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre, PA;Milwaukee and La Crosse, WI;and Seattle and Yakima, WA;(2) 16 law enforcement agencies;(3) up to 60 automobile insurers and (4) 60 attorneys. We will obtain information on driver records from government sources and our survey of individuals.
In Aim 1, Accuracy of Individual Risk Perceptions, we compare individuals'subjective beliefs about outcomes of drinking/driving, with objective data from our surveys, state, and other secondary sources and assess sources of variation in accuracy.
In Aim 2, Effects of Risk Perceptions and Other Factors on Drinking and Driving Behaviors, we assess impacts of (1) subjective beliefs and (2) other factors (e.g., time and risk preference, internal cost of personal injury, altruism toward others, cognitive ability, demographic characteristics and income on drinking/driving behaviors. The focus of Aim 3, Asymmetric Information, Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard is on the market for motor vehicle insurance. Many people voluntarily purchase insurance above compulsory liability limits. The driver potentially knows much more about his/her alcohol consumption, driving habits and abilities than do insurers. Our analysis will contribute to assessing these issues using new and richer data sets;we will have the advantage of designing our questionnaire to address these issues. The economic analysis of adverse selection and moral hazard consists of 4 steps described in the proposal. We also perform a legal analysis of policy options to reduce the adverse effects of adverse selection.
In Aim 4, Welfare Implications and Policy Analyses, we estimate a 2-stage model of drinking and driving behavior and insurance contract choice to be used to assess welfare costs of asymmetric information and specific public policy changes. Our analytic approach combines use of observational data on actual choices with behavioral responses elicited by our survey of individuals. At a minimum, the policies we will evaluate are: (1) increased enforcement of DWI laws as reflected in the arrest probability;(2). increased mandatory sentences;(3). increased experience rating in premium setting;and (4) an information campaign regarding how drinking and driving are related to accidents. We anticipate writing at least 9 papers.

Public Health Relevance

Alcohol abuse is a major social problem in the U.S. as well as in other countries. Numerous laws and regulations exist, but little is known about the subjective or objective beliefs about the probability of consequences resulting from drinking and driving. This research examines the complex decision making process of drivers as it is affected by law enforcement and insurers, and based on the empirical findings, evaluates specific public policy interventions and their ability to effectively reduce drinking and driving behavior.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Community-Level Health Promotion Study Section (CLHP)
Program Officer
Bloss, Gregory
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Duke University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Sloan, Frank A; Robinson, Patricia A; Eldred, Lindsey M (2018) Advantageous Selection, Moral Hazard, and Insurer Sorting on Risk in the U.S. Automobile Insurance Market. J Risk Insur 85:545-575
Sloan, Frank A; McCutchan, Sabrina A; Eldred, Lindsey M (2017) Alcohol-Impaired Driving and Perceived Risks of Legal Consequences. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 41:432-442
Pogue, Ye Z; Hakes, Jahn K; Sloan, Frank A (2017) Is Major Depression Linked to Alcohol-Impaired Driving? Subst Use Misuse 52:1871-1882
Sloan, Frank; Eldred, Lindsey; McCutchan, Sabrina et al. (2016) Deterring Rearrests for Drinking and Driving. South Econ J 83:416-436
Sloan, Frank A; Eldred, Lindsey M (2015) Do preferences of drinker-drivers differ? Int J Health Econ Manag 15:241-268
Griffin Jr, Christopher L; Sloan, Frank A; Eldred, Lindsey M (2014) CORRECTIONS FOR RACIAL DISPARITIES IN LAW ENFORCEMENT. William Mary Law Rev 55:1365-1427
Sloan, Frank A; Eldred, Lindsey M; Xu, Yanzhi (2014) The behavioral economics of drunk driving. J Health Econ 35:64-81
Sloan, Frank A; Eldred, Lindsey M; Davis, Dontrell V (2014) Addiction, drinking behavior, and driving under the influence. Subst Use Misuse 49:661-76
Zhang, Ye; Sloan, Frank A (2014) Depression, Alcohol Dependence and Abuse, and Drinking and Driving Behavior. J Behav Health 3:212-219
Sloan, Frank A; Eldred, Lindsey M; Guo, Tong et al. (2013) Are People Overoptimistic about the Effects of Heavy Drinking? J Risk Uncertain 47:93-127

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