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Selected topic area Road Safety The problems of assessment of risk for authorities and those undertaking and seeking a completely empirical measure of objective risk associated with road safety primarily in the UK John Adams 1995 text Risk is referred to frequently in the study Introduction The following problems and issues arising from those problems will be addressed in this study 1Road users are people who are unpredictable 2Data collected on road accidents is amongst the most detailed reliable and comprehensive in any category of accident Is this enough though 3Problem of opposing views of risk objective vs subjective 4Exposure to risk is individual dependent 5Lack of a direct method of assessing an individuals propensity to take risks 6Phenomenon of risk compensation Overall many problems of the assessment of risk in the area of road safety are people dependent and the fact that peoples subjective view of risk directly impacting on those who seek objectively measure risk giving empirical measures of such risk Section 1 People are by nature unpredictable and not always rational in their behaviour This also makes the way individuals act and react to different circumstances unpredictable and is compounded that each individuals perception of risk in certain circumstances is also different This combination of factors makes for difficult conditions under which to measure or predict behaviour in taking an objective probabilistic approach to assessment A frequentist approach is taken by government in the analysis of statistics available giving rates of fatalities and injuries in road accidents Adams 1995 p10 This cannot take account of peoples perception of risk especially when peoples ability to assess probabilities with accuracy is poor Lichtenstein 1978 addresses this saying it is clear that the propensity among non-experts is to underestimate the risk of relatively frequent non-dramatic events whilst to overestimate the risk associated with infrequent events For example those who drive a car frequently will have the tendency to
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