minor editorial corrections 2012.
This web page is about seat belt safety.
The US - NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) advises
seat belts save lives. However they cannot demonstrate
that there has been a nett diminuition in road
fatalities despite the most strenuous efforts of government sponsored
researchers to establish that road fatalities have diminished.
Two scientists have originated a theory that explains this
anomoly. They speculated that human nature is to blame.
When a safety improvement is introduced, the driver compensates by
driving less carefully.
Analysis of data collected by the NHTSA leads to the conclusion that
drivers who wear a seat belt are less likely to be a fatality.
Further analysis shows that they are more likely to be
involved in a
road accident than drivers who do not wear a seat belt.
The conclusion is that drivers who wear safety belts reduce
the risk to their own lives in any single incident, while
increasing the overall risk to other road
NUMBER OF PEOPLE KILLED IS GREATER WHEN DRIVERS ARE BELTED.
thumbnail sketch of developments, and a sketchy review of relevant
I have published
the letter of a road safety group in Ireland.
NOTE February 2012. Nearly all of the links to the NHTSA site are
broken. Researchers interested in following up on my calculations
are advised to ask NHTSA for originals.
Originally published 28 April 1997.
This cover page first inserted 11 May 2000
Site update Dec 2003