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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:05 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:19
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It occurred to me the other day that telling drivers how safe their car is an accident or how kind it is to a pedestrian when it hits them might be encouraging drivers to drive more dangerously and take more chances. The munich taxi cab experiment showed that abs made drivers brake harder and later so do airbags, abs, crash safe cars and pedestrian friendly cars make drivers more dangerous out in the real world?

If we chose to random groups and told each of them that the car they were driving was either a) 5 star ncap and pedestrian friendly b) jalopy with no such protection for either occupant or pedestrian would they drive differently under simulated conditions? Would it be possible to formulate an attitude questionnaire to give to drivers of those two extremes of vehicle out in the real world? Would it be worth doing a long range experiment taking drivers of old bangers that changed to modern cars with the safety features and seeing whether their driving style changed.

Has any research already been done in these sorts of areas? There is a vehicle safety research centre over loughborough way so they might be the sort of people to conduct such experiments.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 22:12 
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Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 01:47
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Location: Cumbria / Oxford
It's the old debate of whether you'd be safer to drive with an airbag on your steering wheel, or a big spike. Most people will say that they don't drive any more dangerously with an airbag, but maybe subconsciously you do...

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Caught in the rush of the crowd, lost in a wall of sound..


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 22:52 
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I think the answer is fairly simple. The first day you would probably be fine. But then will come the time when you forget about the airbag and the big spike.

That is when I'll plump for the airbag, thanks.

... but also more importantly when the 4WD SUV comes around the corner on the wrong side of the road at me.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 23:30 
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Even taking the airbag v spike thing at face value, would fretting about being impaled upon a spike actually make you less likely to have a crash? I'd venture that you might well become pre-occupied with it and over-cautious, which might actually raise your collision risk.

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