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Correction published on 21 September 2016, see Safety 2016, 2(3), 19.

Open AccessCommentary
Safety 2016, 2(3), 16;

Risk Compensation: Revisited and Rebutted

Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics and Epidemiology, McGill University, 434 Lansdowne, Westmount, QC H3Y2V2, Canada
Academic Editor: Jake Olivier
Received: 3 March 2016 / Revised: 27 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 August 2016 / Published: 29 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Return of Cycling—Safety Implications)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1136 KB, uploaded 21 September 2016]   |  


This Commentary addresses the ongoing disagreements between many safety advocates who endorse traditional models of prevention and those who oppose them, arguing that safety measures are offset by risk compensation (RCT). The debate is especially heated with respect to regulatory or legislative prevention measures. After explaining the rationale behind risk compensation (aka risk homeostasis theory) (RHT), I provide examples of RCT studies to explain why I believe they should be rejected. The main basis for my rebuttal, however, rests on data that show steady declines in unintentional injury mortality, which, according to RCT, should not have occurred. There are many other reasons for rejecting this theory, and it seems that the time has come for the debate to finally be concluded. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk compensation; risk homeostasis risk compensation; risk homeostasis

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Pless, B. Risk Compensation: Revisited and Rebutted. Safety 2016, 2, 16.

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