Across India, new roads built with modern technology, proper signage and safety features have failed to bring down accident rates.
But according to analysts of human behaviour, this is not surprising at all. “The smoother, wider and better a road is, the more accidents there are likely to be -- and this is because of natural human behaviour,” said Biju Dominic, chief executive officer of Final Mile, a consultancy firm that uses behavioural science to solve problems for clients.
Dominic and Final Mile’s co-founder Ram Prasad explained the link between good roads and higher accident rates through the concept of risk compensation: the safer the situation, the greater the tendency of people to take risks.
The theory of risk compensation also holds true for the kind of vehicles being used -- high-end cars with sophisticated features are more likely to have accidents than simpler cars, says Prasad. If a car has an anti-lock braking system, the driver knows he can bring the car to a halt in a microsecond, so his mind automatically compensates and he is likely to apply the brakes later than usual.
So, going by this theory, we are at more risk today than previous years and the risks will be far greater in future as the human mind offsets the security offered by technology. Hence, the only solution that can provide safer roads & security to life is the Human Mind itself and the constraints practised on it while driving, caution being the most important element