Why would airbags in cars cause more
accidents (see the link below)? After studying this lesson
you should be able to use Benefit Cost Analysis (MB=MC) to
answer this question.
A similar question for skiers is why
did the invention of avalanche airbags cause more people to
become caught in avalanches (see below)? After studying this
lesson you should be able to use Benefit Cost Analysis
(MB=MC) to answer this question.
In a March
2013 blog post written by
Utah Avalanche Center Director Bruce Tremper . . .
Tremper says airbags are providing a false sense of
security, leading more skiers into high-consequence
terrain, and thus decreasing the effectiveness of said
"Each gizmo we buy to
increase our safety usually cause us to increase our
level of risk at the same time. For instance, when we
added seat belts and airbags to cars, yes fatalities
decreased, but it also allowed us to drive faster,
farther, crazier and talk on our mobile phones at the
same time. So safety measures usually work but not
nearly as well as we would hope because people just
increase their risk (and utility) at the
same time. In avalanche airbag case, we will also get
more powder, more fun, and more risk in the bargain .
. . . people will increase their exposure to risk
because of the perception of increased safety, which
will cancel out some, but not all, of the
effectiveness of avalanche airbag"