ERIC Number: ED307452
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Jun
Reference Count: 0
The Effect of Automobile Safety on Vehicle Type Choice: An Empirical Study.
McCarthy, Patrick S.
An analysis was made of the extent to which the safety characteristics of new vehicles affect consumer purchase decisions. Using an extensive data set that combines vehicle data collected by the Automobile Club of Southern California Target Car Program with the responses from a national household survey of new car buyers, a statistical model of vehicle type choice was estimated. The basic finding from the analysis is that individuals do express a demand for safety. Holding constant all other factors that influence a consumer's vehicle purchase decision, a safer vehicle is found to increase the probability of purchase. Among the specific findings of the analysis are the following: (1) an index of crashworthiness is a strong determinant of purchase decisions; (2) passive restraint systems enhance the likelihood of purchase of a given model; (3) safety-related recalls in the previous year are found to produce a positive effect on purchase behavior; (4) longer vehicles offer more crash protection to the occupants and increase the likelihood of purchase; and (5) other characteristics found to be important are purchase price and fuel costs, interior comfort and roominess, performance, and brand loyalty. (33 references.) (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Falls Church, VA.