Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Car seats, safety, and Steven Levitt

Are two year or older children restrained by regular car seats safer or equally as safe as the ones restrained by a car seat?  Using data for 45,000 accidents involving fatalities in the United States over the past 30 years, Steven Levitt argues that the $300,000,000 car seat industry has created a demand for a product that is no more safer than a regular seat belt, especially for children over the age of two. Click HERE to retrieve the working paper.

His claims have generated controversy.  Traffic safety experts are in fact playing safe at the moment and are neither refuting nor supporting the claims made by Steven Levitt.  Despite the controversy, Stephen makes a compelling case in support of his conclusions in the following video. Also notice that Steven wonders if policy derived lab tests using dummies should be revised to be based on data from actual crashes.

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