A knife at your throat
The Peltzman Effect has been difficult to prove, given the number of variables that exist both in cars and on the roads, yet experts still joke that the safest cars would be those with unrestrained drivers facing a dagger on the steering column.
In 2007, two university economists turned to what they considered an objective, highly controlled laboratory: NASCAR. After parsing track data from 1972 to 1993, the researchers confirmed the Peltzman Effect. As cars became safer, racers drove more recklessly. Safer cars equaled more crashes.
The total number of injuries also decreased, however, although not by as much if drivers had not compensated with riskier behavior. (In fact, researchers cited a dual benefit to NASCAR, given that crashes increase viewership.)
But everyday drivers don't get prize money. They get auto insurance discounts just for having the safety devices aboard. They get the chance to take more chances another day. And they get a better shot at surviving the accidents that technology can't prevent.
So what happens off the racetrack? Here, too, multiple studies have found that drivers tend to behave in a riskier or more aggressive fashion when they believe themselves better protected -- either with anti-lock brakes, four-wheel drive, studded snow tires or simply larger vehicles.
The Peltzman Effect gone wild
That spells trouble for everyone else, particularly those in small cars that sustain greater damage in a collision with a pickup or SUV.
In a 2008 study at West Virginia University analyzing national fatal-crash data from 1995 through 2006, researchers found that SUVs were 2.7 times more likely to cause an accident than passenger cars.
In addition, researchers are now starting to find that semiautomated safety devices, such as those that monitor distance from another vehicle, threaten to breed a dangerous complacency behind the wheel.
"It could be the Peltzman Effect gone wild," says Janos Wimpffen, the owner of Sports Car Racing Research Associates, a transportation consultancy.
"If everyone had fairly fragile, small cars, it's likely that their driving behavior would be somewhat more defensive. They would understand that were they to get into an accident, the consequences would be more severe," Wimpffen says. "The opposite of that is people who have very big cars may take greater risks."
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If car manufactures were required to place a big sharp spike in the center of the steering wheel, we would become better drivers.
I know I would.
Need more strict tests. Better education. Speed is not dangerous, stupid people are. Someone distracted is a road hazard. Whenever someone says "there ought to be a law", it is very likely that there ought not be a law.
Perhaps we need the cars that pretty much guaranteed a fatality in a 35 mph crash, you know...no seatbelt, solid construction without a crush zone, metal dash, etc...
enough sarcasm, this is a dumb speculation.
I can completely agree with the notion that if I have a safe car, I will most likely take more of a chance.
When I was in my early twenties, I drove cars around for a car lot during the late '90s. On one occasion, I had to test drive a high performance Porsche 911. There are several things a person needs to know about that car. One is, it is designed to handle corners; I knew that one. Two is, the car is super fast on top-end and on acceleration; I took the time to find out how accurate that statement really was.
My test drive consisted of going between 65 and 80 mph on 25 mph S-curves on a back mountain road. Fun-fun-fun, till the second to the last corner. I really wanted more, so I took it at 85 and broke traction. To put it nicely, I left two skid marks back there on the corner.
Safe means do more with less fear.
It did handle as well at 120 mph as it did at 20, 50, and 75.
Cars Are Unsafe Intentionally. Do You Really Think the Human Mind and Technology Cannot Get You to Point a to Point B without Killing You.?
It's Simply More Profitable to Have Your Wife and Children Killed in a Horrific Car Accident. even I could build rules and cars to get myself and my fellow humans from point a to point B. We live in a world of money comes before your child and ego and selfishness is the letter of the day.
So I say, cars are unsafe intentionally! You can talk about what we have and debate all the pros and cons all you want. But at least understand the truth that there could be a better world we do have the intelligence to get your wife to her sister in laws without killing her.
I find people talk about the fluff and never the root of any important issue this drives me nuts. Were not such an honorable species but we do have the intelligence if we only cared to use it to benefit ourselves and our fellow man.
Cars kill intentionally
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