Economics at your fingertips  

The Car Cushion Hypothesis: Bigger Cars Lead to More Risk Taking—Evidence from Behavioural Data

Bart Claus () and L. Warlop ()
Additional contact information
L. Warlop: BI Norwegian Business School

Journal of Consumer Policy, 2022, vol. 45, issue 2, No 7, 342 pages

Abstract: Abstract Car traffic and accidents involving cars create an enormous societal cost, particularly in terms of negative consequences for public health. Mitigating these effects is a daily concern for public and private institutions and people around the world. At least a subset of accidents is attributable to the amount of risk drivers allow in their driving and in related behaviour like mobile phone use or substance abuse. Our study looks at the effect of car size on risk taking. While literature highlights several behavioural effects of car size, the direction of causality of these effects is not always clear, and empirical evidence is lacking. Two behavioural and consequential studies support that car size affects risk taking in driving and that this increase in risk taking generalizes to other domains as well. Based on these results and in line with literature showing that social stability and security can affect financial risk taking, we propose the “car cushion hypothesis.” This hypothesis suggests that bigger cars make people feel more secure, which affects their behaviour in terms of generalized risk taking. We discuss policy implications aimed at contributing to reducing the societal and public health cost of car traffic.

Keywords: Risk taking; Traffic fatalities; Car traffic; Car size; Cushion hypothesis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... es/journal/10603/PS2

DOI: 10.1007/s10603-022-09511-w

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Consumer Policy is currently edited by Hans Micklitz, John Thøgersen, Lucia A. Reisch, Alan Mathios and Christian Twigg-Flesner

More articles in Journal of Consumer Policy from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().

Page updated 2024-02-18
Handle: RePEc:kap:jcopol:v:45:y:2022:i:2:d:10.1007_s10603-022-09511-w