Will you feel less safe in an 800 cc hatchback or a 2400 cc SUV? My take would be the hatchback. Will the person driving the hatchback be more cautious while driving than the driver of SUV? The answer is the driver of the hatchback. Obviously, it varies from person to person, but the risk taking tendency of a person increases while driving a SUV in comparison to that of the hatchback.
In accordance with John Adams’ theory on risk management, every individual has a specific level of risk taking capability up to which they are comfortable. If their sense of safety is increased, say by an ABS or a fancy safety feature, the risk taking capability of that individual will also increase. The safer we feel, the more risky our behavior tends to be.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that we should not buy the SUV if we can and want to. But what I am trying to say is: safer cars does not imply safer roads. The legislation needs to change and the traffic safety engineering needs to be redesigned to accommodate these vagaries of human behavior, especially in countries like India.
The same phenomenon is applicable to other facets of life, for example: Guns!
Sahil Bansal – Check out how we manage risk in cyber security on our new blog here.
Photo courtesy: carsuk.net