Stakeholder perceptions of risk in motor sport

Stakeholder perceptions of risk in motor sport

Journal of Safety Research 32 (2001) 345 – 358 www.elsevier.com/locate/jsr Stakeholder perceptions of risk in motor sport C.W. Fuller*,1, F.E. Myersc...

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Journal of Safety Research 32 (2001) 345 – 358 www.elsevier.com/locate/jsr

Stakeholder perceptions of risk in motor sport C.W. Fuller*,1, F.E. Myerscough2 Scarman Centre, University of Leicester, Leicester, Leicestershire LE1 7QA, UK Received 6 November 2000; received in revised form 19 March 2001; accepted 15 June 2001

Abstract Problem: Stakeholders have different reasons for their interest in the regulation of motor racing. These reasons include the provision of, for example, safety for drivers, excitement for spectators, financial success for racing teams, and a positive environment for sponsors’ products and services. The acceptability/unacceptability of current risk levels in motor racing depends on these stakeholders’ perceptions of risk, within the sport. Method: This study assessed the risk perceptions and preferences of stakeholders through the use of structured interviews. Comparative data on fatal accident rates (FARs) in sport were obtained from published data. The number and type of vehicle incidents during competition were obtained from the circuit marshals’ incident reports and post-race vehicle damage was assessed by visual inspection. Discussion: Two hundred and three stakeholders, defined as spectators (49), race officials (69), race teams (63), and safety managers (22) were interviewed during open-wheel and closed-wheel motor racing competitions. Significant differences ( P < .05) were observed between stakeholders for the relative risk perception scores across five sports; however, their rank ordering of the relative risk perception scores were similar and consistent with FARs for these sports. Spectators demonstrated a reverse affiliation bias effect by overstating the relative risks of motor racing, compared to other stakeholders. All stakeholders perceived the relative risks associated with open-wheel racing to be significantly greater than closed-wheel racing and

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +44-116-525-5702; fax: +44-116-525-3944. E-mail address: cwf [email protected] (C.W. Fuller). 1 Dr. Fuller is a lecturer in the Scarman Centre at the University of Leicester, UK. Previously, he has been a lecturer at Loughborough University and has been employed in the chemical and electricity generation industries. He is the author of over 50 publications in the areas of analytical chemistry, risk management, and health and safety management. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. 2 Mr. Myerscough is a visiting researcher at the Scarman Centre at the University of Leicester, UK. He has officiated and competed within motor sport for over 30 years and currently officiates as a Clerk of the Course at several UK motor racing circuits for UK and international events. He has worked for many years in the automotive industry. He is a member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. 0022-4375/01/$ – see front matter D 2001 National Safety Council and Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. PII: S 0 0 2 2 - 4 3 7 5 ( 0 1 ) 0 0 0 5 8 - 5

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the relative risks associated with standing race starts to be significantly greater than rolling race starts. However, all stakeholders demonstrated a domain effect, and spectators and race officials also demonstrated cognitive dissonance, in their expressed preferences for the type of motor race starts. Nineteen of the 21 race team managers nominated just three motor racing circuits and 17 team managers nominated ‘‘run-off’’ or ‘‘drop-off’’ track features as presenting the greatest risk to drivers. Impact on industry: The results obtained confirm the complexities faced by governing bodies when setting acceptable levels of risk within professional sports regulations. D 2001 National Safety Council and Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. Keywords: Motor racing; Stakeholder risk perceptions

1. Introduction Nicholl, Coleman, and Williams (1991) surveyed the 16– 45-year age group in England and Wales in order to assess their level of participation in sports and leisure exercise and to determine their experience of injury from these activities. The survey showed that 45% of respondents had taken part in some form of vigorous exercise or sport within the previous 4 weeks, and that 18% of those people taking part in vigorous exercise had suffered an injury within this period. Ball (1998) compared fatal accident rates (FARs) for sport and leisure activities with common hazards such as travel by air, rail, and road; work at home and in employment; and natural phenomena. He concluded that the riskiest sports (e.g., climbing and motor sport) were on par with high-risk occupations (e.g., deep-sea fishing and timber logging). Ball commented that, while in most occupational activities third parties made the decisions on acceptable levels of risk, in sporting activities the individual participants themselves made these judgements. In the UK, occupational risks are regulated by health and safety legislation, and there is a clearly stated requirement within the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare of their employees and all others who may be affected by their activities. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Approved Code of Practice (Health and Safety Commission [HSC], 1999) indicates that employers should achieve the management of these risks through the process of risk assessment. Organizations are expected to support their decisions on occupational risk control measures with defensible arguments based on informed judgments of the residual risk levels involved. Although leisure risks are taken on voluntarily by participants, they are still normally controlled by the laws, rules, or regulations framed by the ruling bodies associated with most sports. Professional sportspeople, however, are employees and therefore their activities are covered by the laws, rules, or regulations of the sport and, in the UK, by occupational health and safety legislation (Fuller, 1995). Despite these additional legislative controls, injuries in professional sport are

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even higher than those recorded for leisure activities. For example, Hawkins and Fuller (1999) showed that injury rates (8.5 injuries/1000 hours) in English professional football are three orders of magnitude higher than those in occupational activities traditionally regarded as high risk (e.g., construction and mining). In English rugby league, which is a contact sport, injury rates (28 to 50 injuries/1000 hours) are even higher (Gissane, Jennings, White, & Cumine, 1998; Hodgson Philips, Standen, & Batt, 1998). Nixon (1993), who studied the propensity for professional athletes in the United States to participate while injured, discussed whether athletes were serious about risk control or whether they simply wanted to perpetuate the image of athletes appearing tough to their fellow competitors, coaches, and supporters. He also discussed the coach’s paradox, which involves coaches professing to protect athletes from injury while at the same time expressing admiration for athletes who continued to play while injured. He commented that there was little evidence that coaches or sports officials were inclined to put an athlete’s welfare ahead of the team or organization’s interests. Individuals are often influenced in their risk decision making by a process known as cognitive dissonance, in which they will disregard or change their perceptions of risk when the known facts conflict with their preferred option (Ball, 1998). For example, although Zuckerman (1994) has observed that driving probably represents the most common form of sensation seeking in young men, the continuing popularity of this activity is inconsistent with the thousands of fatalities recorded on the roads each year. In some activities, familiarity or self-interest can lead to the understating of risks, through the process of affiliation bias (Slovic, 1992). People may also choose not to expose themselves directly to the risks of a sport; instead, they will often expose themselves vicariously as a spectator. Most people accept that the actual outcomes of exposure to hazards can be quantified objectively, in terms, for example, of death, injury, ill-health, and financial loss. However, risk is less easily quantified, as it is not possible to simply compartmentalize risk into objective (statistical) and subjective (perceived) risks (Slovic, 1992). All quantified risk assessments involve human judgments either directly or indirectly and these judgments are inevitably based on subjectivity (Royal Society, 1992). An individual’s perceptions of risk will be derived from a range of information sources including scientific data, expert comments, media reports, peer group views, and their own observations. Differences in risk perception, inevitably, lead to differences in views of the acceptability or unacceptability of risks. Therefore, risk perception is an important indicator of how an individual or a group may respond to a set of data that relates to the risks associated with a particular hazard. A problem in measuring risk perception is that people’s ability to judge absolute levels of risk accurately is poor (Daamen, Verplanken, & Midden, 1986). Different people have different perspectives on risks; therefore, one disadvantage claimed for using specific riskrating scales is that they do not allow respondents to rate risks by the issues that are important to them (Slovic, 1992). One way of measuring an individual’s

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judgment of risk, however, is to measure how they perceive the level of risk of one activity compared with that of another activity and to compare these views with statistical data for the same risks. While the validity of some measures of risk comparison are subject to debate, the rank ordering of these risk judgments has been shown to be relatively consistent and in line with available statistical information (Daamen et al, 1986). Professional motor sport, which is controlled by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), is a worldwide, multibillion-pound business. Motor sport is made up of many disciplines from go-kart to Formula 1 racing, and comprises open- (exposed) and closed- (covered) wheel vehicles. The motor sport business attracts millions of spectators through worldwide television coverage of many events and successful racing teams raise millions of pounds through sponsorship arrangements. These factors lead to the need for compromise in motor racing regulations in order to accommodate the varying interests of stakeholders. These interests include making the sport: safe for drivers, exciting for spectators, financially successful for racing teams, and an attractive high profile showcase for sponsors’ products. A number of major incidents in Formula 1 motor racing, in particular the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger in 1994 at Imola, increased the awareness of the FIA to the need for improvements in car and circuit safety at motor sport events (Howell, 1996). Although significant advances have been made in car and circuit safety since 1994, calls for further improvements continue to be made. Jackie Stewart (1999), who is a former Formula 1 world champion and a long-time protagonist for safety improvements in motor sport, continues to press for improvements, while Max Moseley (1999), who is president of the FIA, is quoted as saying ‘‘We have been able to reduce the probability of death or serious injury, but we have not eliminated it. We will never make it safe.’’ These issues raise the question of whether risk assessments can be made impartially or whether the individual interests of the various stakeholders influence these decisions. Impartiality is particularly important where a sport’s ruling body is required to formulate laws and regulations for the protection of participants while ensuring that the sport retains its often high-risk appeal for other stakeholders. Motor racing therefore provides an ideal environment within which to test the theories of conflicting stakeholder perceptions of risk, cognitive dissonance, and affiliation bias in the process of risk assessment. This study formed part of a widerranging project involving the development of risk assessment methodologies for motor racing circuits.

2. Method As a range of respondents, with a diversity of understanding the concepts of risk, was included within the survey, the approach advocated by Slovic (1992) was adopted. In this approach, ‘‘risk’’ is not defined in order that respondents will incorporate the inherent subjectivity associated with their own criteria and

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understanding of risk within their assessments. The approach taken in this research was therefore to obtain risk comparisons and preferences and to use rank ordering of the results to compare differences in the risk perceptions and preferences of stakeholders. 2.1. Questionnaire design Stakeholders at motor race meetings were identified and categorized within the three groups of ‘‘race team,’’ ‘‘race official,’’ and ‘‘spectator.’’ Race officials and spectators were asked to provide information on the number of race meetings and race circuits they had attended over the previous 12 months and the distance they had travelled to reach the circuit. 1. Respondents were requested to rate their perceptions of risk, using a simple 3-point scale of higher risk ( + 1), equivalent risk (0), and lower risk ( 1), on a number of issues:  Race teams, race officials, spectators, and safety managers compared the risk of a fatal injury to a participant in climbing, horse riding, rugby, and swimming with the risk of a fatality to a driver in motor racing. Safety managers also compared the risks of a fatality to an employee at work with the risk of a fatality to a driver in motor racing.  Race teams, race officials, and spectators compared the risk of a driver being injured in open-wheel racing cars with the risk of being injured in closed-wheel racing cars.  Race teams, race officials, and spectators compared the risks of a driver being injured in standing race starts with the risks of being injured in rolling race starts. 2. Race teams, race officials, and spectators defined their preferences for the type of racing starts on a 3-point scale of standing starts ( + 1), equal (0), and rolling starts ( 1). 3. Team managers identified:  whether their team had a written health and safety policy;  whether their team had access to a health and safety advisor; and  which circuit and section of track presented the greatest risk of injury to their drivers. 2.2. Questionnaire implementation Motor racing stakeholders were questioned at four UK motor race meetings, which covered three racing circuits and five types of racing (Formula 3, Touring Car, FIA trucks, FIA GT, and Historic cars). The ‘‘race team’’ group included, for example, drivers, mechanics, and team managers, and the ‘‘race official’’ group included, for example, circuit marshals, scrutineers, stewards, and clerks of the course. The safety managers were all health and safety professionals at major UK industrial companies, with at least 5 years of experience in their post and who

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were currently studying for a university postgraduate qualification in health and safety management. 2.3. Comparative data A range of incident data was collected in order to compare with the risk perceptions and preferences of the motor racing stakeholders: 1. The most reliable data available, in the UK, for the total number of fatalities to people over 15 years of age, for climbing, horse riding, motor racing, rugby, and swimming sports activities, are those available from the Office of Population Census and Surveys for England and Wales over the period 1982– 1989 (OPCS, 1982 –1989). The average numbers of days participation, for people aged over 16 years, in each of these activities over this period of time were calculated from exposure values reported in the General Household Survey (OPCS, 1983, 1986, and 1990), which cover the same time period. The average FARs for each activity over this period were then calculated as the number of fatalities per 100 million days of participation. The reporting period for fatalities at work changed in 1986; therefore the average FAR for people at work (aged over 15 years) was calculated from the total number of fatalities reported to the Health and Safety Executive for the period 1986/1987 to 1989/1990 (HSC, 1995). The number and type of vehicle incidents during competition were obtained from circuit marshal incident reports at 28 Formula 3 (open-wheel) and 39 Touring Car (closed-wheel) races. 2. Damage-severity data for cars involved in circuit incidents were not available directly from the racing teams due to the confidential nature of this type of information. However, information was obtained from visual post-race inspections of the vehicles. Three general categories of damage-severity were employed: Category 1 (e.g., TC: damage to bumper/spoiler, F3 damage to nose cone); Category 2 (e.g., TC/F3: significant damage to one corner of a vehicle); and Category 3 (e.g., TC/F3: damage to gearbox/engine). 2.4. Data analysis and statistical testing Weighted relative risk perception and preference scores were calculated within each group of respondents by apportioning the category scores in relation to the percentage of responses within each category. Statistical analyses were completed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS v. 9.0) for Windows. Statistical significance was accepted at the P < .05 level using a two-tailed test. Univariate analyses of variance were used, with post hoc Tukey tests, for assessing differences in risk perception and preference scores across sports, stakeholders, and racing factors. Two-sample c2 tests were used

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Table 1 Average relative risk perception scores and FARs for activities Average relative risk perception scoresb a

Activity

FAR

All

Race teams

Race officials

Race spectators

Safety managers

Climbing Motor racing Horse riding Rugby Swimming Work

237 161 46 14 10 8

+ 0.59 0 0.16 0.39 0.74 –

+ 0.60 0 + 0.21 0.03 0.59

+ 0.58 0 0.19 0.23 0.77

+ 0.45 0 0.49 0.75 0.86

c

c

c

+ 0.91 0 + 0.09 0.41 0.68 0.77

a b c

FAR per 100 million days participation. + 1, higher risk; 0, equal risk; 1, lower risk: compared to motor racing. Information not requested.

to compare accident damage and incident reports for Formula 3 and Touring Car races.

3. Results 3.1. Demographic information A total of 203 respondents (63 race teams, 69 race officials, 49 spectators, and 22 safety managers) took part in the survey. For race officials and spectators, 46% had traveled less than 100 miles to the circuit and the average number of circuits visited was seven per year. Six of the 15 Formula 3 and all 11 of the Touring Car team managers identified that their teams had a health and safety policy and 9 of the Formula 3 and 10 of the Touring Car team managers had access to a health and safety advisor. 3.2. Perceptions of risk across sports The average relative risk perception scores obtained for each sport for each motor racing stakeholder group and safety manager group are shown in Table 1. There were significant differences in the perceived relative risks of each sport across all groups. When comparing the risk of a fatality in motor sport with risks in other sports, spectators consistently rated the relative risk of motor sport higher

Table 2 Average relative risk perception scores for stakeholders for open- and closed-wheel motor racing Stakeholder average relative risk perception scoresa Activity

Race teams

Race officials

Race spectators

Open/closed

+ 0.40

+ 0.61

+ 0.27

a

+ 1, open-wheel higher risk; 0, equal risk;

1, closed-wheel higher risk.

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Table 3 Average relative risk perception scores for stakeholders for standing and rolling race starts in motor racing Stakeholder average relative risk perception scoresa Activity

Race teams

Race officials

Race spectators

Standing/rolling

+ 0.36

+ 0.34

+ 0.52

a

+ 1, standing starts higher risk; 0, equal risk;

1, rolling starts higher risk.

than all other groups. Taken overall, motor racing stakeholders and safety managers ranked the relative risks of a fatality in a sport in the same rank order as the average FARs calculated for the sports (Table 1). By stakeholder group, spectators and race officials ranked the relative risks of the individual sports in the same order as the FARs, while safety managers and drivers reversed the rank order of relative risks for horse riding and motor racing compared to the FARs. Safety managers also ranked the relative risk of a fatality at work in the same rank order as its FAR. 3.3. Perceptions of risk of open- and closed-wheel motor racing The average relative risk perception scores obtained for open- and closedwheel racing for each stakeholder group are shown in Table 2. All stakeholders rated the risk associated with open-wheel racing significantly greater than that associated with closed-wheel racing. Race officials rated the relative risk associated with open-wheel racing significantly higher than spectators. 3.4. Perceptions of risk of rolling and standing race starts in motor racing The average relative risk perception scores obtained for rolling and standing race starts for each stakeholder group are shown in Table 3. All stakeholders rated the risks associated with standing race starts significantly greater than the risks associated with rolling race starts. Spectators, however, rated the relative risks of standing race starts significantly higher than race teams and race officials. The average relative preference scores for standing and rolling starts for each stakeholder group are shown in Table 4. There were significant differences for the expressed preferences across all stakeholder groups. Race teams strongly preferred rolling race starts, while spectators preferred standing race starts.

Table 4 Average relative preference scores for stakeholders for standing and rolling race starts in motor racing Stakeholder average relative risk perception scoresa Activity Standing/rolling a

Race teams 0.64

Race officials

Race spectators

0.00

+ 0.29

+ 1, standing starts preferred; 0, equal preference;

1, rolling starts preferred.

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Table 5 Average numbers and types of incidents per race reported by circuit marshals Number of vehicle incidents per race Type of race incident

Formula 3

Touring Car

Car spin Car roll Car/car contact Car/barrier contact Car hit marker post Car enters gravel trap Other Total

2.71 0.11 1.21 0.25 0 0.21 0.04 4.53

1.95 0 3.51 0.64 1.38 0.44 0.28 8.20

3.5. Frequency of racing incidents Circuit marshals made 126 Formula 3 incident reports and 319 Touring Car incident reports; the average numbers of incidents per race are reported in Table 5. There were significant differences in the distribution of incident types between Formula 3 and Touring Car races. 3.6. Vehicle damage-severity reports Ninety-six Formula 3 and 205 Touring Car vehicle damage-severity reports were obtained. There were significant differences in the distribution of damageseverity reports between Formula 3 and Touring Car races. The proportions of these reports in each of the three damage-severity categories are shown in Table 6. 3.7. High-risk circuits and track features Seventeen racing circuits were identified where Formula 3 and Touring Car races took place. Only racing teams attend all race circuits during the course of a season and therefore it was not possible for the ‘‘race official’’ and ‘‘spectator’’ groups to judge which circuits presented the highest risks to drivers. Thirteen of the 15 Formula 3 racing team managers nominated features at four of the circuits, and 8 of the 11 Touring Car team managers nominated features at three of the circuits, as presenting the highest risks to their drivers. These results are Table 6 Damage-severity reports for open- and closed-wheel vehicles Percentage of damage reports Damage-severity category

Formula 3

Touring Car

1 2 3

49 33 18

75 19 6

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Table 7 Circuits and features identified by team managers as presenting the highest risk of injury to drivers Circuit feature Circuit number 5 13 17 14 15

Formula 3

Touring Car

Drop-off area (4) Run-off area (1) Run-off area (2) Unsighted (1) Run-off area (4) Drop-off area (1)

Run-off area (3) Run-off area (2) Barrier angle (2)

High kerbs (1)

summarized in Table 7. Seven of the 13 features nominated by Formula 3 team managers and five of the eight features nominated by Touring Car team managers involved deficiencies in circuit ‘‘run-off’’ areas.

4. Discussion The open-wheel Formula 3 and the closed-wheel Touring Car Championships involve professional motor racing teams, which are sponsored by a range of major companies. Motor racing depends on sponsors, especially in the highprofile areas of the sport. These sponsors are therefore in a strong position to indirectly influence safety standards in motor racing by imposing their own high standards of safety management onto racing teams. Only 17 (65%) of the racing teams declared a health and safety policy and only 19 (73%) of the racing teams had access to a health and safety advisor. None of the major sponsoring companies in motor racing would consider operating their own business, or employing contractors within their businesses, without a health and safety policy or a health and safety advisor. These companies would insist that any organization, which wished to work in partnership, would, of necessity, have to demonstrate that they managed health and safety issues effectively and complied with UK health and safety legislation as a minimum. This philosophy clearly did not extend, in every case, to professional motor racing, where they were prepared to invest millions of pounds in sponsorship advertising. These companies must consider that, in the motor racing environment, they can expose themselves, their products, and their services vicariously to a high-risk activity and avoid the adverse publicity, which they would attract if they created similar levels of risk within their own workplaces. Risk is usually measured as the product of the probability of events taking place and the consequences of these events (Royal Society, 1992). Difficulties associated with this approach are that many people who are involved in risk assessments do not understand the statistics of probability or the concepts of integrating risk across a range of consequences (e.g., from minor cuts and scratches to fatalities), and cumulative risks arising from repeated exposures to

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hazards. Although Likert and semantic differential scales have been used to elicit views on risk, expressions, such as ‘‘extremely likely’’ and ‘‘extremely unlikely’’ for probability and ‘‘very serious’’ and ‘‘very slight’’ for consequences, still have different connotations for different people (Weyman & Kelly, 1999). As Kasperson (1992) has discussed, it is important when measuring perceptions of risk and presenting arguments about risk to frame them in a context that is familiar to the stakeholders involved. For this reason, a range of measures that were familiar to stakeholders was used in this study in order to assess and compare the various aspects of risk associated with motor racing. 4.1. Risk perception The safety managers, who had no direct affiliation with motor racing and who were routinely involved in work-based quantified and nonquantified risk assessments in an industrial setting, provided an unbiased benchmark group for the relative risk perception scores. Group differences in risk perception are thought to reflect the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that result from an individual’s association with a particular group (Royal Society, 1992). Spectators consistently perceived the relative risk of motor racing to be higher (i.e., the relative risk perception scores were more negative), compared to safety managers and the other motor racing stakeholders. Affiliation bias in risk assessment is normally associated with stakeholders, who regard hazards as more benign than contemporaries, who are not directly linked with the activity. The results from the present study however indicated a reverse affiliation bias effect by the spectators, who have overstated the risks, possibly because they like to feel that they are associated with a high-risk sporting activity. However, there were no significant differences between motor racing stakeholders in the rank ordering of their relative risk perceptions, which corresponded with the rank ordering of FARs (Table 1). The rank ordering of risks by the safety managers was also not significantly different to those recorded by the stakeholders in motor racing. The rank ordering of relative risk in motor sport expressed by ‘‘lay people,’’ (i.e., spectators) was very similar to those expressed by the ‘‘risk experts,’’ (i.e., race teams, race officials, and safety managers). Stakeholder perceptions of the relative risks associated with motor racing and other sports were compared with published data on FARs. This type of information is not available for the subcategories in motor racing of open- and closed-wheel racing and standing and rolling race starts. For this reason, stakeholders’ perceptions of the relative risks associated with open- and closed-wheel racing were compared with the observed frequency and severity of accidents and incidents in these races. Rolling starts are not employed in any of the major race categories in the UK, and therefore data for comparison could not be obtained in this case. In assessing the relative risks associated with open- and closed-wheel racing cars, all stakeholders perceived that the risks associated with open-wheel cars were greater (Table 2). However, in this comparative risk assessment, spectators

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perceived that the relative risks of open-wheel racing were significantly less (i.e., the relative risk perception scores were less positive) than that recorded by race officials. This result can be partly explained within the context of the recorded race incident statistics (Tables 5 and 6). First, the average number of incidents per race in Touring Car competitions was nearly twice the level of that recorded for Formula 3 competitions (Table 5). Second, the average number of car-to-car contacts recorded per race for Touring Car was nearly three times higher than that recorded for Formula 3. Taken together, these figures showed that the probability of an incident occurring was significantly higher in Touring Car than Formula 3 racing. However, when the damage-severity of these incidents was taken into account (Table 6), it could be seen that almost 95% of Touring Car incidents fell within the lower damage-severity Categories 1 and 2, while for Formula 3 racing, nearly 20% of incidents fell within the highest damage-severity Category 3. Spectators therefore appeared to have been influenced in their assessments mainly by the probability of an incident occurring, while race officials, who are probably more aware of the outcomes of race incidents, appeared to have considered both the probability and the consequence of an incident. All stakeholders’ perceptions were that standing race starts presented a significantly higher risk scenario for drivers than rolling race starts. This view is supported by the controversy surrounding the starting tactics employed by some of the leading contenders in Formula 1 racing (Collings, 2000). However, when asked to state their preferred type of race start, stakeholders’ selections were significantly different and, in the case of spectators and race officials, inconsistent with their expressed views on risk. Spectators preferred standing race starts, race teams preferred rolling race starts, and race officials were ambivalent. These preferences illustrate an effect of framing bias, referred to as the ‘‘domain effect’’ (Weyman & Kelly, 1999), whereby preferences for risk options are made in terms of stakeholder gains rather than taking account of stakeholder losses. In addition, stakeholder preference-decisions may be framed by the fact that gains within the group are compensated for by losses within another group. In the present case, spectators showed a preference for standing race starts, presumably because of a gain in vicarious risk resulting from race incidents at the expense of a higher risk to drivers. Racing teams, on the other hand, showed a preference for rolling race starts, presumably because they provided a lower risk environment for drivers, at the expense of less race incidents and excitement for spectators. Race officials, however, took the compromise position of showing equal preference for rolling and standing race starts, thereby balancing the interests of race teams and spectators. In identifying rolling race starts as the lower risk option but preferring standing race starts, spectators exhibited cognitive dissonance. Racing teams, in selecting the lower risk option of rolling race starts, did not subscribe to the ‘‘coaches dilemma’’ paradigm of professing an interest in safety but advocating high-risk situations. This conclusion should, however, be tempered by the possibility that the racing teams were also safeguarding their huge investments in the racing cars rather than the drivers.

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In assessing which circuits and features were considered to present the highest risk to drivers, it is important to bear in mind that most spectators and race officials only attended or officiated at a limited number of circuits per year (average of seven). Racing teams, on the other hand, attend all circuits during the course of a season. Therefore, it was only possible to assess whether race team managers were consistent in their assessments of hazardous circuits and features. Team managers highlighted just 5 of the 17 circuits, of which 3 were nominated by 19 of the 21 Formula 3 and Touring Car team managers (Table 7). The circuit features nominated at these five circuits were generally related to deficiencies in circuit ‘‘run-off’’ or ‘‘drop-off’’ areas. Drop-off areas, which refer to a difference in level between the track edge and the area of circuit between the track and the spectator barrier, are a particular hazard for cars with a low ground clearance (e.g., Formula 3 cars). This is consistent with the result that five Formula 3 but no Touring Car team managers nominated this type of hazard. However, run-off areas, which refer to the distance and design of the area between the track edge and the spectator barrier, are a hazard to all cars. This is consistent with seven Formula 3 and five Touring Car team managers nominating this type of hazard.

5. Conclusions Motor racing stakeholder groups demonstrated significantly different relative risk perceptions for a range of sports but similar rank ordering of the relative risks. By overstating the relative risks associated with motor racing, spectators exhibited a reverse affiliation bias effect. The stakeholders showed significantly different relative risk perceptions across groups for both closed/open-wheel racing and standing/rolling race starts. These results support the conclusions of Daamen et al. (1986) that, although people’s abilities to judge absolute levels of risk are poor, rank ordering of risks provides more consistent results. In making a choice between risk options, however, all stakeholders demonstrated a domain effect and spectators and race officials demonstrated cognitive dissonance. Spectators selected the higher risk option, race teams the lower risk option, and race officials a compromise option. These results confirm the difficulty experienced by sport’s governing bodies when making decisions on acceptable levels of risk because of the conflicting demands of stakeholder interests. Motor racing team managers were consistent in their identification of high risk motor racing circuits, as 19 of the 21 responding team managers’ nominations were confined to just three circuits. Also, 17 team managers nominated either run-off or drop-off areas as providing the greatest risk to their drivers. While the views of sponsors were not included within the survey, the benefits of publicity accruing from motor racing must be perceived to be so high by some members of this stakeholder group that they can condone sponsoring organizations that do not comply with the legal requirements, in the UK, for a health and safety policy and access to a competent health and safety advisor.

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