Bhondoo @ MIT: Seat Belts are Unsafe!

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Bhondoo was reading an economics book during his long summer break, after finishing his 100 hour shower at the MIT Dorms last month. Bhondoo became really excited and called me when he read in his “Microeconomics” book – “to wear seat belts is a bad thing”. He says a study on the subject showed that people perceive a lower risk they drive wearing the seat belt. This is a psychological effect which makes people driving faster, because they adjust their speed to the new perceived risk. It is similar to what happens when you see that there is ice on the street and you drive slower. People respond to seat belts as the would to an improvement in road conditions- by faster and less careful driving.

So Bhondoo says that a law that imposes to wear seat belts decreases the mortality of car accidents but at the same time increases its number… and the average number of deaths remains the same! But what about pedestrians? Indeed their safety is not changed by the fact that people wear seat belts but they are negatively affected by the fact that there are more accidents in which they are involved. This is amazing. Bhondoo discourages everybody from wearing a seat belt anymore. And if a “trafficwala” stops you and try to fine you for not wearing a seat belt, try to convince him as well!

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