Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The Peltzman effect

Having noted The reverse Peltzman effect yesterday it seems only right and proper to give an example of the actual Peltzman effect today. This comes from Marginal Revolution:
The NHTSA had volunteers drive a test track in cars with automatic lane departure correction, and then interviewed the drivers for their impressions. Although the report does not describe the undoubted look of horror on the examiner’s face while interviewing one female, 20-something subject, it does relay the gist of her comments.

After she praised the ability of the car to self-correct when she drifted from her lane, she noted that she would love to have this feature in her own car. Then, after a night of drinking in the city, she would not have to sleep at a friend’s house before returning to her rural home.
Making people fell safer changes behaviour. And most of the time not for the better.

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