Risk Compenstation - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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View Poll Results: Do you take more risk because you wear a helmet?
Yes 20 40.00%
No 30 60.00%
Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Risk Compenstation

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In ethology, risk compensation is an effect whereby individual people may tend to adjust their behaviour in response to perceived changes in risk. It is seen as self-evident that individuals will tend to behave in a more cautious manner if their perception of risk or danger increases. Another way of stating this is that individuals will behave less cautiously in situations where they feel "safer" or more protected.
I have been doing some research into this topic as it applies to motorcycle crashes.

Do you think your behavior on a motorcycle (ON THE ROAD) becomes more risky because you are wearing a helmet (and additional safety gear)?

If you ain't with us, then it's just bad news.

Last edited by jrock; 06-06-2011 at 03:38 PM.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 02:39 PM
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I think it depends a lot on the person but in general, absolutely I believe that's true.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 02:41 PM
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I don't think mine is, but the last time I ride without a helmet was in 2002, and I was going 30mph on the strip in Panama City Beach.

I can see how this would be true, people would be more careful if they aren't wearing gear vs. wearing gear and being riskier.

I've read in places where studies have shown drivers do this. Since cars have so much safety equipment/sensors drivers are taking greater risks and are less aware of their surroundings.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 02:44 PM
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For me personally, wearing a helmet and gear does not change my perceived risk of riding. In my mind, just because I'm wearing a helmet doesn't mean I'll jump up and walk away from a crash.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 03:14 PM
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For me personally, wearing a helmet and gear does not change my perceived risk of riding. In my mind, just because I'm wearing a helmet doesn't mean I'll jump up and walk away from a crash.
If youre a Pussy rider youll always be a pussy rider no matter if you wear gear or not!

yes i ride harder with gear on!

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 03:20 PM
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I voted no, but after reading the quote you have, I'm leaning more towards yes (not solely from the helmet perspective). I ride a lot more aggressive on the track when I'm fully suited up than I do on the streets when I'm only wearing helmet, jacket, gloves, and boots.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 03:31 PM
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Hell yes. For example, I can't do over 100 mph without a helmet because my doo-rag flies off my forehead, if I check my blind spot my glasses go bye bye, and bugs really hurt at those speeds. On the contrary, with a helmet I am able to ride the whole way home from Quaker Steak to I55 pegged at 150 mph.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnat View Post
If youre a Pussy rider youll always be a pussy rider no matter if you wear gear or not!
Duh, that was my point.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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On the road, not on the track.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 03:47 PM
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I ride a bit more aggressively if I have better gear on so I answered yes; I wont ride further than just down the street w/o a helmet so I can't truly answer the question.

-Mike
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 03:48 PM
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My guess is that the majority of people do ride more conservatively without gear. Some do it consciously, while others subconsciously & there are probably a wide variety of reasons.

I'm sure there's also a strong correlation between high paced riding & riders who gear up, but that's not really what you're after.

I suppose an extreme example to support your theory would be Bungee Jumping or Sky Diving. How many people do you know who've jumped from a crane, bridge, tower or plane without a Bungee or Chute??
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 03:49 PM
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I'd say yes. Basically feel naked without my gear and would prefer not to ride at all. However just because I'm wearing gear does not mean that I'm going to ride in a way that I feel is hazardous to my health (and some people thinking riding period is too hazardous). So while I think the statement is true, its difficult to derive causation from it.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 03:51 PM
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I voted no.

The awareness of the helmet is only in your conscious mind for a few minutes, if that. It is more your subconscious that determines your fear factor, because fear is more about instinct than thought. The helmet will have a very limited effect on that.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 04:25 PM
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Just a helmet? Yes, somewhat. Knowing I have it on, and that it works (from personal experience), yes, I will ride a little differently. Maybe not a lot, but somewhat.

Full gear? Yes, definitely. I wouldn't go on a F4T (or something similar) and ride in a good-paced group without the gear.

Race track? Yes, more definitely. There's less outside risk (cars, children, animals, etc) so my ride style changes.

Yeah, I know you said just helmets on the road. But you also asked about the risk reduction. As my (perceived) risk goes down, my riding becomes more aggressive.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Wearing gear does not make me take more risk. The pavement is just as hard at 30 MPH as it is at 60 MPH. This is what I have always thought.

It appears that the data does not support this for motorcycles. I have seen studies that support this for cars, bicycles and skiing/snow boarding (where the fatality rate has not changed for 10 years), but not for motorcycles.

This study was done this year and looked at almost 2,000 crashes.

http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/con...88.2010.529974

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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrock View Post
Wearing gear does not make me take more risk. The pavement is just as hard at 30 MPH as it is at 60 MPH. This is what I have always thought.

It appears that the data does not support this for motorcycles. I have seen studies that support this for cars, bicycles and skiing/snow boarding (where the fatality rate has not changed for 10 years), but not for motorcycles.

This study was done this year and looked at almost 2,000 crashes.

http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/con...88.2010.529974
Intersting... but after reading that, it could be that people that wear their helmet take less risks in general than those that don't. It doesn't compare the same person with or without the helmet which was your question.

-Mike
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pitbull76 View Post
It doesn't compare the same person with or without the helmet which was your question.
I guess I have to get better at asking these questions. Sorry for the confusion. That is not what I was asking. I asked "because you wear a helmet," not "when you wear a helmet."

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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 05:13 PM
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I totally misunderstood the ?.

I thought you were trying to get feedback from people that ride both with & without gear.
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrock View Post
I guess I have to get better at asking these questions. Sorry for the confusion. That is not what I was asking. I asked "because you wear a helmet," not "when you wear a helmet."
Jrock, you fuckin pot head lol leave the research to the cold stone sober section of society.

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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 05:32 PM
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Yes....


But it's backwards ....... I almost always wear a helmet because I am aware of
how falling without one may turn out..... so on the rare occasion I ride without
one I ride ultra-conservatively.


It's not like I put a helmet on and ride faster because I feel safer with it.


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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
Yes....


But it's backwards ....... I almost always wear a helmet because I am aware of
how falling without one may turn out..... so on the rare occasion I ride without
one I ride ultra-conservatively.


It's not like I put a helmet on and ride faster because I feel safer with it.


Tom
This ^^^

I slow down on the RARE occasion I don't wear a helmet. Although in the last 2 years, Ive only gone 200yards on a bike with no helmet.

I do ride faster with full leathers...... partly because Im in track gear. And partly because I feel more protected with the monkey suit on. Which goes back to your original question.
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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Basically, the argument is that the safety benefits are canceled out by the increase in risk taking. The data doesn't support it, but the perception that it is true is still there.

In other words, why aren't there more accidents among helmeted riders?

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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrock View Post
Basically, the argument is that the safety benefits are canceled out by the increase in risk taking. The data doesn't support it, but the perception that it is true is still there.

In other words, why aren't there more accidents among helmeted riders?
It could be as simple as...... Helmeted riders tend to be BETTER riders, more experienced, and wear helmets because they know the risk or have experienced the risk first hand.

I have yet to meet a squid, wife beater and flip flops, on a "spirited" ride that has any kind of track experience or has been riding for a long time.

Or it could be more complicated, the helmetless rider, may fit the group that rides in packs, slower speeds, high congestion areas that are more prone to accidents.

While the helmeted rider, may fit the group of longer distance, country, higher speed (highway), low congestion areas where accidents are less likely.
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripleZ View Post
It could be as simple as...... Helmeted riders tend to be BETTER riders, more experienced, and wear helmets because they know the risk or have experienced the risk first hand.

I have yet to meet a squid, wife beater and flip flops, on a "spirited" ride that has any kind of track experience or has been riding for a long time.

Or it could be more complicated, the helmetless rider, may fit the group that rides in packs, slower speeds, high congestion areas that are more prone to accidents.

While the helmeted rider, may fit the group of longer distance, country, higher speed (highway), low congestion areas where accidents are less likely.
It would be difficult to really quantify everything...

Helmet or helmetless sportbike riders can't be combined with say BMW riders. Helmetless Harley riders are just different than helmetless sportbike riders. Too many variations to take into account.
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 09:13 PM
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I don't think I take additional risks because I have a helmet on but I am less conscious or fearful of crashing. Without a helmet on I am completely paranoid and more fearful of crashing. Therefore I hardly ever ride anywhere without a helmet. Unless I'm on a scooter, then I ride balls to the walls.

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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 09:44 PM
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If I didn't have a helmet, I probably wouldn't take the risk. However, the helmet isn't what makes me take the risks I do, my messed up brain does. I've worn a helmet almost my entire motorcycling life, so it's hard to say. However, I never wore a helmet snowboarding. Now that I do, I still ride the exact same way I always did. So that for sure didn't add to the risk taking.

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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrock View Post
I have been doing some research into this topic as it applies to motorcycle crashes.

Do you think your behavior on a motorcycle (ON THE ROAD) becomes more risky because you are wearing a helmet (and additional safety gear)?

I definitely ride more conservatively if I don't have proper gear on.

My definition of 'proper gear' may change depending on the heat index; I sometimes ride in adidas or yoga pants, but I'm more aware of the decrease in abrasion resistance and lack of malleolus protection. Always a helmet, jacket, and gloves, though, so I guess my input wasn't helpful.

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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
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i think it depends a lot on the person but in general, absolutely i believe that's true.
+1.
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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 08:12 AM
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A helmet is only going to protect your head. Still leaves room for road rash and entire chunks of flesh to be exposed in a wreck if you have no other gear. Which brings two types of riders that are a paradox to me. 1) Riders who wear a lid but only have a t-shirt, jeans and flip-flops. Props for the lid but the rest of your body is going to be an entire scab in a crash. 2) Nice armored jacket, gloves and boots but no lid. Actually heard from one of these riders that they know how to tuck their head if a accident happens LOL!!!!
Anyhow, to answer the original question, no I do not ride more reckless or take more risk due to helmet use. The ONLY time I am not wearing a lid while riding is the 200ft ride to tech my bike at a track day. Other than that I will not even go around the block on a bike without a lid. My personal choice and self preservation method.

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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 08:19 AM
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as far as street riding, i'm not aggressive so i'll have to say no. i do
believe that wearing gear affects people in a way that they would be
willing to chance more. i think you'll find throughout yer research this
is the case.

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