A new study by Mississippi State’s Social Science Research Center has shown that the increasing gas prices across the country seem to be causing a decrease in all auto accidents, even drunk driving accidents. This article suggests that rising gas prices have both a short-term impact and an intermediate-term impact on the reduction of auto accidents. The short-term impact refers to the effect the gas prices have immediately on traffic accidents, whereas the intermediate-term impact refers to the effect gas prices have over a year afterward.
This is good news for most Americans trying to find anything positive associated with the skyrocketing gas prices. The most likely cause for the correlation would be people driving less frequently and people finding alternative modes of transportation. For many people, filling up their gas tank is a heavily weighted decision. This decision might decide whether or not they can afford to bring home dinner. With increasing gas prices people are trying their best to stay off the roads and save money. Whether it’s is taking public transportation or only driving when it is necessary, everyone seems to be trying to avoid the pumps.
It’s no surprise that high gas prices have caused a short-term impact on the reduction of auto accidents, but why has it caused intermediate-term effects lasting over a year? One would assume that once the gas prices dropped people would resume their usual driving habits. More research needs to be done to answer this question, but in the meantime, I think we should all enjoy the enhanced feeling of safety while out on the roads.