A description is given of the debate over suggestions that wearing a seat belt encourages drivers to take greater risks. Statistics are quoted which show 500 fewer deaths and 1000 fewer serious injuries in the first 11 months after the seat-belt law took effect. Further figures from the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast and the Automobile Association support this trend. The alternative view is the "risk compensation" theory which uses the trapeze artist with a safety net as an analogy. Several examples of surveys which support this theory are given. Evidence from insurance claims is examined and it is also found that the number of pedestrians and pedal cyclists killed has increased. A study of Birmingham University is described which monitored drivers before and after the legislation and found no change in behavior. (TRRL)

  • Corporate Authors:

    Automobile Association

    Foundation for Road Safety Research, Fanum House
    Basingstoke, Hampshire,   England 
  • Publication Date: 1985-2

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: p. 29
  • Serial:
    • DRIVE
    • Issue Number: 115

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00395538
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1985 12:00AM