Image description

 Risk Homeostasis

A Theory about 

Risk Taking Behaviour

Welcome to the Risk Homeostasis  and Risk Compensation Resource Centre

Target Risk 3 is now available for download. Click on PDF.

Enter file download description here

Or, buy hardcopy from Amazon  We suggest from Beachbumshaw 

Enter file download description here
Image description

Welcome to the

Risk Homeostasis Resource Centre

This site is dedicated to the understanding of risk taking behaviour, risk compensation and risk homeostasis..


People alter their behaviour in response to the implementation of health and safety measures, but the riskiness of the way they behave will not change, unless those measures are capable of motivating people to alter the amount of risk they are willing to incur.


Multiple researchers across the globe have participated in acquiring an understanding of this fascinating behavioural phenomenon.Your interest and participation in this on-going research will contribute greatly to finding ways in decrease risk-taking behaviour that results in injury and death.

DUPONT, Washington US, Dec 18 2017.  Fatal Derailment.

A Canadian National Railways (CNR) Senior Locomotive Engineer comments ...


The Wilde & Stinson 1982 paper still holds true today 35 years later. Fatigue of train crews operating freight trains in North America has been a chronic issue during my 34 year career and for many years preceding my tenure.  The recommendations for a system (DAME) requiring locomotive engineers to comply with signal indications and operating restrictions is just now being phased in 35 years after this report was written. Many deaths could have been prevented, not to mention the devastation avoided, had such a system been implemented. Positive train control (PTC) is slowly becoming a reality although the Federal governments in both Canada and the U.S. have repeatedly acquiesced to postponements by Class 1 Railways.  Companies who cite the financial burden of making their businesses safer. Profits take precedence over regulation.


Addressing the causes of chronic fatigue amongst operating crews is equally important in improving safety on the railways. More intervention is necessary to ensure that crews are able to be prepared for their long irregular shifts and the shifts themselves need to be shortened. Currently these employees in safety critical positions can and are being required to work 12 hour shifts and as long as 18 hours in a 24 hour period. We all know that this is incontestably perilous from a safety perspective.


There are many factors that contribute to accidents on the railways and the only way to make them safer is for governments to increase oversight and respond with appropriate regulations that place people and longer-term prosperity ahead of short-sighted corporate profit. 


Drs Wilde & Stinson could see what needed to be done.  It is tragic that we continue to wait to see the implementation of their recommendations.  


Image description

Opportunities Missed


There was a very cautious man

Who never laughed or played.

He never risked, he never tried,

He never sang or prayed.


And when he one day passed away

His insurance was denied.

For since he never really lived,

They claimed he never died!


Gerald J.S.Wilde Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Psychology,

Queen’s University,Kingston, Ontario, Canada


Gerry Wilde is happy to answer your questions on this most interesting subject. Please click here to send an email.

Listen to his latest interview on CBC radio about driver safety and the psychology of risk.

Image description