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Publication type: Conference paper
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Do avalanche airbags lead to riskier choices in the backcountry?
Authors: Haegeli, Pascal
Rupf, Reto
Karlen, Barbara
DOI: 10.21256/zhaw-4999
Conference details: International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW), Innsbruck, Austria, 07-12 October 2018
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Simon Fraser University
Language: English
Subject (DDC): 150: Psychology
700: The arts and entertainment
Abstract: While the effectiveness of airbags for reducing mortality in avalanche involvements has been examined in various studies, the nagging question of whether the added safety benefit might actually lead to increased risk-taking – a phenomenon referred to as risk compensation or risk homeostasis – has only been tackled by a few. Building on the existing research on airbags, risk compensation and stated terrain preferences in winter backcountry recreation, we developed an extensive online survey to approach the topic of avalanche airbags and risk compensation from multiple directions. In the spring of 2017, 155 airbag owners and 237 non-owners mainly from Switzerland, Germany and Austria participated in our study. While our analysis of the survey responses indicates that risk compensation behavior in response to airbags is likely among recreational backcountry travelers, the discrete choice experiment included in our survey failed to provide conclusive empirical evidence. To allow backcountry users to make informed choices about airbag use, we recommend the topic of risk compensation to be included in avalanche safety courses and airbag user manuals.
Fulltext version: Accepted version
License (according to publishing contract): Not specified
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR)
Appears in collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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