Hoyes, Thomas W., Stanton, Neville A. and Taylor, R.G.
Risk homeostasis theory - A study of intrinsic compensation
Safety Science, 22, (1-3), . (doi:10.1016/0925-7535(96)00007-0).
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Risk homeostasis theory (RHT) suggests that changes made to the intrinsic risk of environments are negated in one of three ways: behavioural adjustments within the environment, mode migration, and avoidance of the physical risk. To date, this three-way model of RHT has little empirical support, whilst research findings on RHT have at times been diametrically opposed. A reconciliation of apparently opposing findings might be possible by suggesting that extrinsic compensation fails to restore previously existing levels of actual risk in cases where behavioural adjustments within the environment are incapable of negating intrinsic risk changes. This paper reports a study in which behavioural adjustments within the physical risk-taking environment are capable of reconciling target with actual risk. The results provide positive support for RHT in the form of overcompensation for the intrinsic risk change on specific driver behaviours.
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