Thursday, 15 February 2018

Ask The Philosophical Muser: On Seatbelts

Here's my latest Q&A column - if you have any questions for me, you can message me on Facebook, or email them here

A Facebook friend made contact to query my claim that it's obvious that people drive less safely with seatbelts on. The query was along the lines of this: "I don't see why this is the case, surely even with a seat belt on people try to drive as carefully as possible because it's in their self-interest to do so?"

My answer: It seems obviously true, but like many supposedly obviously true things, it is false. To see why, you only need consider the statement when said this way - "If a driver has no seat belt he or she will drive more carefully" - a statement that is very obviously true, and one that no one has any issue with.

Consequently, saying "people drive less safely with seatbelts on" is just another way of saying "people drive more safely with seatbelts off". Both are equally true, they are just different words to say the same thing.