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Risk Compensation and the management of road safety 22 February 2005 Institute of Transport and logistics University of Sydney [email protected] Managing risk: it’s not rocket science. it’s more complicated. Three kinds of Risk. e.g. cholera: need a microscope to see it and a

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slide1

Risk Compensationand the management of road safety22 February 2005Institute of Transport and logisticsUniversity of [email protected]

three kinds of risk
Three kinds of Risk

e.g. cholera: need

a microscope to

see it and a

scientific

training to

understand

Scientists don’t

know or cannot

agree: e.g. BSE/vCJD,

global warming,

low-level

radiation,

pesticide

residues, HRT, mobile phones,

passive smoking,

stock market ….

e.g. climbing

a tree, riding

a bike, driving, car

a successful risk manager
A successful risk manager

Risk management is

  • a balancing act
  • instinctive
  • intuitive
  • modified by culture
slide5

Rewards

Propensity to

take risks

Balancing

behaviour

Perception

of risks

Accidents

risk compensation

more dangerous &

therefore slower

Risk compensation

tyres - less

grip

less efficent

brakes

reduced down

pressure - less grip

slide14

Propensity to

take risks

Rewards

Balancing

behaviour

Perception

of risks

Accidents

The risk thermostat

Money, power,

love, glory, food,

sex, rushes of

adrenaline,

control ...

Money, health,

life, status,

self-esteem,

embarrassment,

jail, loss of control ...

risk perceived through science
Risk perceived through science
  • “a Richter scale for risk would involve taking a series of common situations of varying risk to which people can relate” (DTI)
  • “a simple measure of risk to that people can use as a basis for decision making” (RSS)
slide17

A Richter Scale for Risk?

Risk of an individual dying in any one year

as a result of a road accident

= 1:8000 (On the State of the Public Health 1995)

= 1:16000 (Road Accidents Great Britain 1995)

Personality disorder

vs normal

10 X

Young male vs

middle-aged female

100 X

20

2.5 times over

limit vs sober

= 2 680 000

134 X

3am Sunday vs

10am Sunday

slide18
I exaggerate

the four variables are not independent;there are more disturbed drunken young men on the road at 3am Sunday

  • or do I?

the four numbers in the equation are all averages.

Further variables must be invoked to account for their variances,

is the carbig X new X equipped with ABS brakes X insured ...?

is the roadslippery X well-lit X straight ... ?

is the driversleepy X angry X on drugs X short-sighted ...?

is the ... .... ?

slide19

Bottom loop bias

Propensity to

take risks

Rewards

Balancing

behaviour

Reducing Risks - Protecting People

Perception

of risks

Accidents

slide20

Propensity to

take risks

Rewards

Balancing

behaviour

Perception

of risks

Accidents

Perceptual Filters

slide21

Fatalist

Hierarchist

Egalitarian

Individualist

slide22

Perceived through science:

legal grey area

Titanic effect

Virtual Risk: human error becomes

Bad Luck:

legal black hole

Directly Perceptible:

Victorian coal mine - imposed

climbing Everest - voluntary

Resources devoted to increasing safety

Bad luck

Safety

slide24

foresight

the present

bad luck

slide25

foresight

bad luck

hindsight

the present

slide26

hindsight

foresight

the present

bad luck

Culpable negligence

whom do you trust

per cent

Whom do you trust?

Fatalists

Egalitatians

Individualist

Hierarchist

slide31

Propensity to

take risks

Rewards

Propensity to

take risks

Rewards

Balancing

behaviour

Balancing

behaviour

Perception

of risks

Accidents

Perception

of risks

Accidents

The lorry driver and the cyclist

slide32

Propensity to

take risks

Rewards

Propensity to

take risks

Rewards

Balancing

behaviour

Balancing

behaviour

Perception

of risks

Accidents

Perception

of risks

Accidents

Propensity to

take risks

Rewards

Lawyer on

contingency fee

Insurer

Balancing

behaviour

Perception

of risks

Accidents

slide34

New Scientist

22 January 2005

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