The study consists of a literature review and two analyses of data in connection with drivers of air-equipped bags that support the offsetting behavior hypothesis. The study can be defined as a meta-analysis because it combines the data from two independent research studies to support the hypothesis. The independent variable is a set of dummy variables, which indicates the use of airbags as a standard feature and in the restyled models (Peterson et al., 1995). The macroeconomic parameters and those affecting the driving environment were omitted. The dependent variable is the change in personal injury claims (Peterson et al., 1995). The hypothesis proven in the study is an offsetting behavior hypothesis, which suggests that increasing automotive safety may be counterbalanced by driver behavioral changes resulting in more aggressive driving with airbags in the car.
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The study examined the relevance of the offsetting behavior hypothesis through two data analyses. In the first analysis of insurance loss data, the change in frequency of injury claims was computed using an “injury and collision loss experience by make and model” (Peterson et al., 1995). The findings show a notable increase in losses under personal injury protection coverage after resizing in newly equipped autos with an airbag due to offsetting behavior.
The second analysis inspected traffic fatality data, where the authors calculated the probability of various events, such as fatal crashes with and without an airbag. The findings established that the risk to drivers is not diminished in cars with airbags. Moreover, the percentage of occupants killed in the crashes with an airbag in the car is alerting high. The following combination allows the researchers to conclude about the hypothesis accuracy.
Peterson, S., Hoffer, G., & Millner, E. (1995). Are drivers of airbag-equipped cars more aggressive? A test of the offsetting behavior hypothesis. The Journal of Law and Economics, 38(2), 251-264.