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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    "Forgot to buckle their seatbelt"?

    If someone perishes in a car accident and they were not wearing their seatbelt, now do you feel about the deceased's decision making? Do you ever drive and just forget to put on your seatbelt? Why or why not? Do you believe that their are driving situations that are safe enough that you don't wear your seatbelt?

    Contrast this to you views and protocols regarding your avalanche beacon. Are they different? Why?

  2. #2
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    Seatbelt use is an independent predictor of morbidity and mortality in motor vehicle crashes. Use reduces chance of death by over 50% in a crash a moderate/serious injury by nearly 50%!

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    This graphic is important because 1998 marked the new mandatory requirement for airbags in new cars which would confound

    We shouldn't deceive ourselves into thinking that beacons are nearly so effective as seatbelts. But they are effective and we do consider them basic required safety equipment.

    So, let's look at what makes people use or not use seatbelts.

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    With beacons I'd speculate we'd see reasons for non-use/improper use like:
    • Didn't know it was important
    • Had it but forgot to turn it on
    • Forgot/didn't know to put in in the right place
    • Too expensive
    • Didn't think the risk warranted the weight/discomfort of wearing it today
    • Forgot the beacon/batteries
    • Its broken: didn't know/went anyway


    Do laws make a difference?
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    What motivates drivers to use a seatbelt
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    EQUIVALENT MOTIVATORS FOR BEACON USE:
    • A close call or an accident personally experienced or by an acquaintance has great impact.
    • BC culture demanding beacons has a great effect.
    • Avalanche safety outreach and education solves many problems.


    BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS:
    There are no beacon laws or beacon tickets... and beacons are a separate purchase unlike seat-belts in driving!

    OTHER:

    I'll speculate the "Other" includes "I would have forgotten if not for the reminder" and "I wouldn't wear it except I wanted the seatbelt reminder dinger to shut up." Modern cars beep incessantly when we fail to put on our seatbelt.

    Skis don't harass us with incessant dinging when we fail to have a properly placed, tested, and operating beacon.

    Rigid adherence to trailhead checks solves this... except when people don't do it!

    Maybe we should be asking how to get people to do trailhead checks systematically and without fail?
    Last edited by Summit; 10-17-2017 at 01:20 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    “I forgot to put my seatbelt on”. Yeah, right.

    Same w beacon.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  4. #4
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    tldr;

    Seatbelts:
    • Are very effective when used properly.
    • You cannot get a vehicle without seatbelts
    • Are permanently installed
    • Not battery dependent
    • Vehicles will harass you if you don't wear your seatbelt
    • Many places police will ticket you for not wearing a seatbelt



    Beacons:
    • Are fairly effective when used properly
    • Must be separately purchased from backcountry travel setup
    • Must be donned/activated each use
    • Require battery repalcement
    • Lack an (automated) reminder/safety check except what humans remember to do by habitual trailhead check
    • Do not have a statutory requirement


    Only by ignoring human nature and behavioral economics can we attempt compare these two safety interventions as equivalent.

    If one tried to develop a beacon type capability that had the behavioral economics of a seatbelt, you'd get something like RECCO... installed in almost all clothing and not needing activation/batteries etc... except it would be searchable by an individual instead of a large expensive organized rescue device.

    Then again, a seatbelt is more akin to an avalanche airbag than an avalanche beacon in FUNCTION (as opposed to user compliance, which was Foggy's point).
    Last edited by Summit; 10-18-2017 at 12:30 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  5. #5
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    northern BC
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    I sometimes for get the seat belt I think probably because I was driving before they were mandatory

    I ski with one group who never check beacon signals and are more likely to ask if you have a spare lighter

    and another group where every skier tests his beacon on every other skier in the group on a leapfrog beacon check and there is much better communication ... its an attitude

    man
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    I ski with one group who never check beacon signals and are more likely to ask if you have a spare lighter
    I could ask why you ski with them

    But a better question is what do you think it would take to get that group to change their practice?
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  7. #7
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    People's attitudes to beacons is kind of interesting. I had a former business associate who really got into snowmobiling. He had two nice machines himself and a nice one for his wife. Spent a ton of money building a trailer to haul them all around and bought all the nice suits for warmth, etc. He had plenty of money for his hobby and rode with a group who also were fine financially. I asked him if his group used transceivers and he told me they didn't because they were kind of expensive. I just started laughing and pointed out how much money he had invested in his hobby already and the statistics of how many sledders are killed by avalanche. To his credit, he and their entire group went out and bought transceivers and trained with them. I don't think he's ever had to use them (haven't talked in quite a few years) but it was good to know he took action from my ridicule. But getting back to his excuse; they're kind of expensive. I guess it just depends on what value you put on your life.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    I could ask why you ski with them

    But a better question is what do you think it would take to get that group to change their practice?
    They are local buds and it would take an act of god

    either that or some really introspective acid

    Multiple Aviys have not changed the way they ski or think in the BC so I don't expect them to change

    SO I have taken to establishing my boundaries/goals which are on the conservative side up front and I stick to them period

    Like "hey now that we are here blah blah blah looks good!" no I said we are doing yadayadyada and thats all I am doing
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post

    But a better question is what do you think it would take to get that group to change their practice?
    For that group, a death in the group might not change them IMO. Like with seat belts, it would take multiple marketing campaigns over 10+ years pushing a checklist approach for safe travel. I keep seeing similarities between BC skiing and recreational aviation. Where the ski sport is now similar to the time of "daring young men in their flying machines" in 1920.
    thnx Capt. Chuck Shunstrom

    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  10. #10
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    Austin, TX
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    This is interesting. I have not gone backcountry skiing, but I'm taking my avy class this winter and starting. Right now, after reading what I have read, I would never, ever go into the backcountry without everyone in my group with beacons on and checked. It just doesn't make sense to me. Why risk your life like that? If you are buried in a slide and don't have a beacon you've effectively disappeared. I would ideally like to have an airbag too - but that truly is expensive and heavy.

    As an aside (and as an engineer in digital communications), it is absolutely ridiculous how expensive beacons are for the feature set that they have. I mean we're talking the most rudimentary of devices. Even a Garmin is cheaper and that has way more features. I know it's due to volume of sales, but I guarantee you BCA is reaping in the profits on their beacons. The tech has barely changed.

  11. #11
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    What if you’re just driving slowly down a dead end gravel road?

  12. #12
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    If you have to ask that question, you might need a checklist.
    thnx Capt. Chuck Shunstrom

    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  13. #13
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    Any of you guys ever ride in the bed of a truck?

  14. #14
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    Yep. And in the cab before seat belts were invented. Life rules are situational at the extreme ends.


    Maybe we should be asking how to get people to do trailhead checks systematically and without fail?

    I'm a noob. Make a check list for Noobs and start with them. What other items have your tour groups left the trailhead without and regretted? Skins? Water? GPS? Condoms?
    thnx Capt. Chuck Shunstrom

    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  15. #15
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    Ever let a kid steer in some isolated area with no other vehicles around?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    138
    Foggy

    You are right

    And

    You are pointing out the obvious that nobody wants to hear.

    Beacon turned off in pack = doing it wrong.

  17. #17
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    Jan 2004
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    the Low Sierra
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    Here’s my take

    This backcountry skiing thing we do is different. Some people are doing it way out there. But just doing what most of us do is dangerous. I could kill myself or my wife or my kid or my friends any day. You’ve got to be ready for that. And prepared to avoid that. And prepared to deal with that. We aren’t playing golf or tennis or croquet. We are backcountry skiing. You can die doing that. You can do a lot of things to avoid dying but you might die.

    I live in what we call a “risk acceptable” household.

    God damn it - wear your seatbelt.

  18. #18
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    I'd be lying if I said that I put my seatbelt on after loading up the groceries and preparing to drive 100' to the gas pumps in the parking lot. Similarly, I'd be lying if I said I always have my beacon in late spring and summer. But the other 99% of the time, seatbelts and beacons are just a habit that's pretty ingrained at this point.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by stfu View Post
    Foggy

    You are right

    And

    You are pointing out the obvious that nobody wants to hear.

    Beacon turned off in pack = doing it wrong.
    YEP.

    And why can't we talk about the obvious or not so obvious when someone dies skiing outside a ski area?

    We had a pretty nasty loss @ sugar Bowl last year. Seemed everyone had lots to say about everything but what happened.
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  20. #20
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    Yeah, it seems like the couple who died in the Madisons was pretty accomplished and should have known better. There, I said it. And didn't I just post something to someone in Big Sky about not being "that guy" in October?

    I guess someone I follow on FB knew her and skied a lot of tge Taylor's with her, maybe even that same line. Don't think it was in October, tho!
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    I'd be lying if I said that I put my seatbelt on after loading up the groceries and preparing to drive 100' to the gas pumps in the parking lot. Similarly, I'd be lying if I said I always have my beacon in late spring and summer. But the other 99% of the time, seatbelts and beacons are just a habit that's pretty ingrained at this point.
    Agree with this, Midsummer isothermic corn snow packpack in an area that is commonly skied in the summer an no documented slide in the summer, skiing beacon free. Should I, probably not, but I do it.

  22. #22
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    "Forgot to buckle their seatbelt"?

    Every situation is different. I ski solo a lot in the backcountry. I don’t wear a transceiver in summer. Situational awareness is key. One of these days I could be questioned about my poor choices if something bad happens to me.

    We live in a risk-acceptable household.

  23. #23
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    Dec 2005
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    They knew the rules, or if you'd rather, the best practices. But mistakes were made. I doubt they needed any further education. It boils down to 'human factors' and 'heuristics.' I've been hearing about human factors and heuristics for a number of years now, but I haven't heard anything definitive about how to solve or address those issues.

    I've got a background in wildland fire and aviation, and there's been a ton of talk in those venues about how human factors and heuristics are something we need to pay attention to, but the lack of a direct solution is frustrating.

    Maybe I'm overlooking or forgetting something. Checklists?

    /venting.
    山、川、森林、砂漠、海、空

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    582
    So long as humans are human......

  25. #25
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    google the swiss cheese theory

    I had a perfect example of this in an accident where i was speeding/it was suddenly icy/ a snow plow pulls across the road and his wheels spin trying to get clear/ now we are getting a sweaty crotch

    but when the girl in her mom's kia came around the plow, bounced off a berm and t-boned me I was fucked


    you can make one misteak/ incidence of shit happening and get away with it, maybe even 2, but when 3 or 4 things happen at once, just let go of the wheel bend over ... and kiss your ass goodby
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

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