RISK COMPENSATION

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
Mike Sales
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Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: RISK COMPENSATION

Postby Mike Sales » 22 Dec 2010, 6:04pm

admin wrote:
Risk compensation, as described so well my Adams, is alive and well on the roads. Ride an "ordinary" bicycle, and I am constantly being passed too close for comfort, with car drivers giving very little thought to how they're passing me. Riding my "dangerous" Windcheetah recumbent trike I find that car drivers suddenly have great respect for me, taking care when passing and giving me lots of room. The trick for cycling is to look as "dangerous" and as unusual as possible. Just towing a trailer helps :)


I think the implications of Risk Compensation are much more extensive than that. It casts in doubt the whole Road Safety industry method. Crash proofing cars and roads has produced an environment more and more dangerous for the vulnerable. Cycle accident rates have only been kept down by risk compensation by cyclists. More and more actual and prospective cyclists compensate for increased risk by removing themselves from the road. Those remaining take more and more care, choose quieter roads etc. The movement towards wearing helmets is an example. In the face of invulnerable drivers and the unwillingness of police and CPS to protect us, a scrap of polystyrene is not quite enough compensation.

kwackers
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Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: RISK COMPENSATION

Postby kwackers » 22 Dec 2010, 6:19pm

Wear dark clothing and no lights, dart on and off pavements.
I'd be willing to bet risk compensation will keep them well out of your way. :twisted:

drossall
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Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: RISK COMPENSATION

Postby drossall » 22 Dec 2010, 6:54pm

There's some statistical evidence that it does. Accident rates to unlit cyclists are surprisingly low, as are numbers of accidents where cyclists are held at fault. It may be that "dangerous" cycling creates enough irritation to draw attention, and thus outweigh the obvious risks of lack of lights, or poor riding style.

But I'm not going to try it myself yet...

drossall
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Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: RISK COMPENSATION

Postby drossall » 22 Dec 2010, 6:55pm

admin wrote:Just towing a trailer helps :)

Or ride a trike. You aren't really any wider because your shoulder width is the same. You'll get more space though...

Mike Sales
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Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: RISK COMPENSATION

Postby Mike Sales » 22 Dec 2010, 7:16pm

kwackers wrote:Wear dark clothing and no lights, dart on and off pavements.
I'd be willing to bet risk compensation will keep them well out of your way. :twisted:


I don't understand what point you are making here, sorry.

drossall
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Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: RISK COMPENSATION

Postby drossall » 22 Dec 2010, 7:58pm

I think he was being sarcastic.

Mike Sales
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Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: RISK COMPENSATION

Postby Mike Sales » 22 Dec 2010, 8:10pm

Mike Sales wrote:
kwackers wrote:Wear dark clothing and no lights, dart on and off pavements.
I'd be willing to bet risk compensation will keep them well out of your way. :twisted:


I don't understand what point you are making here, sorry.

drossall wrote:I think he was being sarcastic.


I guessed that he was. I may be humourless, but I thought there might be some point he was contributing.

SilverBadge
Posts: 577
Joined: 12 May 2009, 11:28pm

Re: RISK COMPENSATION

Postby SilverBadge » 22 Dec 2010, 8:15pm

admin wrote:Risk compensation, as described so well my Adams, is alive and well on the roads. Ride an "ordinary" bicycle, and I am constantly being passed too close for comfort, with car drivers giving very little thought to how they're passing me. Riding my "dangerous" Windcheetah recumbent trike I find that car drivers suddenly have great respect for me, taking care when passing and giving me lots of room. The trick for cycling is to look as "dangerous" and as unusual as possible. Just towing a trailer helps :)
I would guess that you are so low that you disappear during the overtaking manoeuvre and as such motorists have to guess how much space to give you, therefore you get a lot. Normal bicycle is visible throughout and thus you get "What are you complaining about - I didn't hit you" levels of space.
I would normally describe risk compensation as taking more risks when one (rightly or wrongly) feels safer though I guess the curve works in both directions and back past the origin.

kwackers
Posts: 14283
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: RISK COMPENSATION

Postby kwackers » 22 Dec 2010, 8:33pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
kwackers wrote:Wear dark clothing and no lights, dart on and off pavements.
I'd be willing to bet risk compensation will keep them well out of your way. :twisted:


I don't understand what point you are making here, sorry.

drossall wrote:I think he was being sarcastic.


I guessed that he was. I may be humourless, but I thought there might be some point he was contributing.

It was both (sarcasm and making a point).
Drossal has already made the point above that unlit cyclists aren't at as much danger as one would think. It's a form of risk compensation, motorists give cyclists that look unpredictable more space (and then get home and write their "annoyed of Basingstoke" mails to the local rag), ride around lit up like a christmas tree with hi-vis and helmets and you look as though you know what you're doing and thus they don't need to leave anything like as much space.

Mike Sales
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Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: RISK COMPENSATION

Postby Mike Sales » 22 Dec 2010, 10:03pm

SilverBadge wrote:I would normally describe risk compensation as taking more risks when one (rightly or wrongly) feels safer though I guess the curve works in both directions and back past the origin.


You are right. It does work in both directions. We have a target level of risk which may vary between people, or over time in one person. We balance risk and reward as presented by the external environment. Change the level of risk (or reward), and as autonomous individuals we vary our behaviour. It is difficult to make people safer than they want to be. We are not automatic machines to be manipulated by car or road engineers.

Mike Sales
Posts: 4378
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: RISK COMPENSATION

Postby Mike Sales » 22 Dec 2010, 10:06pm

kwackers wrote:It was both (sarcasm and making a point).
Drossal has already made the point above that unlit cyclists aren't at as much danger as one would think. It's a form of risk compensation, motorists give cyclists that look unpredictable more space (and then get home and write their "annoyed of Basingstoke" mails to the local rag), ride around lit up like a christmas tree with hi-vis and helmets and you look as though you know what you're doing and thus they don't need to leave anything like as much space.


I see. Thanks. The intricate dance of the risk thermostats. I hope this is comprehensible.