An Air-Bag Wrinkle to Consider

In the SuperFreakonomics chapter on cheap and simple solutions, we wrote: And seat belts, at about $25 a pop, are one of the most cost-effective lifesaving devices ever invented. In a given year, it costs roughly $500 million to put them in every U.S. vehicle, which yields a rough estimate of $30,000 for every life saved. How does this compare with a far more complex safety feature like air bags? At an annual U.S. price of more than $4 billion, air bags cost about $1.8 million per life saved.

If You Were Watching the Today Show, You Saw Dubner Talking About Car Seats vs. Seat Belts (But Only if You Were in the Right Time Zone)

Dubner went solo on the Today Show this morning. Levitt, who still can’t quite get his head around flying halfway across the country to do a four minute interview, was off at a water park in Wisconsin with his wife and kids, which luckily was a good enough excuse to miss the interview. If you […]

Which Would You Rather Have: A Seat Belt or an Air Bag?

A number of readers, in light of our recent column on car seats vs. seat belts for kids, have asked my views on seat belts and air bags for adults. So let me ask you a question: if you could only have one or the other, would you go for the seat belt or the […]

Freakonomics in the Times Magazine: The Seat-Belt Solution

The July 10, 2005, Freakonomics column, "The Seat-Belt Solution: How Much Good Do Car Seats Do?" is about the efficacy of child car seats versus plain old seat belts. This blog post supplies additional research material.