Every year in the United States, millions of college students travel for spring break, spending billions of dollars. We examine a potential adverse consequence of spring break that has received little attention in the literature - traffic safety. In particular, we estimate the impact of spring break season on fatal passenger vehicle crashes. Using daily county-level longitudinal data on traffic fatalities in popular spring break destinations from 1982-2011, we conduct separate analyses by age groups, license status, and alcohol involvement in the crash. Our findings indicate that passenger vehicle fatalities are significantly overrepresented during the spring break season.
spring break college students traffic fatalities externalities