Risk protection is normally done to minimize the harm a particular activity can do to us. There are various things we do to reduce our risk, to make ourselves safer.
Behaviour scientists point out that taking measures to reduce the harm we can do to ourselves, can actually make us take more risks, with the added knowledge that there is a safety check in place. This is known as Risk Compensation.
Having a safety device in place, and armed with the knowledge that we can push the envelope a bit, the appetite for risk increases.
This means that enforcing measures that supposedly make people safer, will lead to changes in behaviour almost like a reflex action, compensating for the extra safety and to maintain the ‘desired’ level of risk, making it a zero-sum action.
If something has been made safer (like fitting sports bikes with disk brakes) then it does not mean the risk has been eliminated, as it may just put a different group of people (like pedestrians) in increased danger. This is known as Risk Transfer.
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