Why are bankers, adventure tour operators, nuclear scientists, and health professionals reading a book on traffic safety? When Target Risk was first published in 1994 it caused a sensation because it turned conventional ideas on risk management upside down. New Yorker
writer Malcolm Gladwell used its ideas to explain the Challenger space shuttle disaster. Ski resort managers studied it to help figure out why safety improvements failed to reduce accident rates. It was purchased by a broad readership ranging from health professionals and law enforcement officials to financial analysts, journalists, and safety educators. The book is controversial because it casts a new light on all the efforts that governments, industry, and law enforcement officials make to improve safety. It implies a new approach to managing risk, in ourselves and in others.
The first hardcover edition sold out, but an updated and expanded version, Target Risk 2, is now available in paperback.
Antilock braking systems, airbags, seatbelt laws, traffic lights, and speed regulations are all part of mammoth efforts to reduce traffic casualties. But do these measures and their counterparts in industry and public health have the effects intended? In his theory of risk homeostasis, Gerald Wilde postulates that they don't because they fail to influence people's willingness to take risk. In this book, Professor Wilde has collected his controversial theory, along with its supporting arguments and data, into one fascinating document, and included new data and evidence accumulated since the publication of the 1994 original. Target Risk 2 is a powerhouse of insights into human risk-taking behavior. It's a book that everyone interested in safety and health promotion should have on the shelf.