The Dangers of Safety Equipment – The New York Times

“In high school, I played football and wore pads and a helmet. During that time, I endured two shoulder separations, a dislocated kneecap and several snapped tendons in my hand.In college, I played rugby and wore heavy cotton shorts and a stiff jersey, while suffering only some scraped elbows and several memorable hangovers from parties with “rugger huggers” after matches.

More equipment, more injuries? Social scientists have seen that before; they call it the Peltzman effect, after the economist Sam Peltzman. The feeling of safety, it seems, induces us to be less careful. A famous illustration of the Peltzman effect is that the better sky diving gear becomes, the more chances sky divers take, keeping the fatality rate from sky diving roughly unchanged over time. Peltzman’s point was that though rule-makers can regulate safety, people choose their own level of risk.”

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About David Lindsay Jr

David Lindsay is the author of "The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth- Century Vietnam," that covers a bloody civil war from 1770 to 1802. Find more about it at TheTaySonRebellion.com, also known as, DavidLindsayJr.com. David Lindsay is currently writing about Climate Change and the Sixth Extinction., as well as singing and performing a "folk concert" on Climate Change and the Sixth Extinction. He can be reached at daljr37(at)gmail.com.
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