Friday, May 1, 2009

Nudging on safe driving

Steve Levitt draws attention to a field experiment by James Habyarimana and William Jack that sought to "nudge" drivers to drive safely.

They selected a random sample of over 1,000 minibuses in Kenya and pasted posters that told passengers to speak up if the driver drove dangerously. Their analysis of comprehensive insurance data covering a two year period that spanned the intervention shows that insurance claims for treated vehicles decreased by one-half to two-thirds, compared with the control group and claims involving an injury or death decreased by at least 50%. They used passenger and driver surveys to find that passenger heckling contributed to this reduction in accidents.

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