Road accidents: unexpected costs of stock market movements

Jane M. Fry, Lisa Farrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent interest has grown in the link between stock market returns and health conditions. We extend this literature to road accidents as changes in returns may affect anxiety and stress, leading to driver fatigue and distraction, resulting in road accidents. Using Stats19 administrative data on accidents, we investigate the relationship between FTSE100 returns and accidents in British regions from 2008 to 2019. Accidents respond positively to decreases and increases in returns with effects up to 1.2%. Daily returns can be large, having substantial effect on accidents when returns are large. Compared with US results, we find no effects for fatal accidents. This could result from the UK's very low fraction of fatalities and differences in road infrastructure, speed, and congestion. Unanticipated changes in returns represent an exogenous shock to individuals which may causally affect driving behaviour, and this is important to road safety stakeholders and for health promotion and policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-255
Number of pages23
JournalOxford Economic Papers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


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