COMPENSATION - IMPLICATIONS FOR ROAD SAFETY

This paper discusses the concept of 'compensation' and its relationship to the underlying mechanism of utility. It outlines several 'utility' or 'compensation' theories of driver behaviour, and discusses the implications of such patterns of behaviour in terms of road safety policies. There has been much debate about how far drivers will change their behaviour to compensate for changes in their driving environment due to engineering interventions. The degree to which compensatory behaviour affects accident rates is still uncertain. Most compensation theories of behaviour assume that individuals will act consistently with maximising their positive utility. Utility theorists argue that the accident rate may be affected, only when drivers 'want' to act safely by associating safe behaviour with high positive utility, rather than by imposing engineered safety measures on them. Risk Homeostasis Theory (RHT) supposes that each individual has a preferred level of risk, with which the perceived risk at a given time is compared subconsciously; it maintains that engineering interventions will be ineffective in the long term. Three ways of influencing the motivational aspect of driving performance are discussed.

  • Corporate Authors:

    INSTITUTE OF ROAD SAFETY OFFICERS

    SNABE COTTAGE
    DRUMCLOG, STRATHAVEN,   United Kingdom  ML10 6QF
  • Authors:
    • HAIGNEY, D
  • Publication Date: 1995-7

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 21,23-5,27,29,31,33
  • Serial:
    • INROADS
    • Volume: 17
    • Issue Number: 1
    • Publisher: INSTITUTE OF ROAD SAFETY OFFICERS

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00714468
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 27 1995 12:00AM