"The failure to adequately asses risk is something I see all the time. I work at a university and see kids walk under swaying redwood branches during a wind storm, walk in the middle of a service road with headphones on, walk barefoot in and out of research facilities...the list goes on and on. Concerning."
Yes, but that is what happens when kids are raised in a suffocating, all protective cocoon. When you are given the freedom to go out and run around, and get into all sorts of mischief as a kid, you very quickly learn to assess risk the hard way. Hopefully, not ultimately hard, but enough to teach you to PAY ATTENTION. In my cohort, a couple of kids paid the ultimate price and, in the process, reinforced the habit we had all pretty much internalized by that time thru various mishaps involving broken bones, scrapes, bruises, burns, run ins with various organs of authority, etc. It may sound callous and unfeeling, but I think that way of growing up produced adults far better prepared to handle whatever life threw at them. When I look around today and see so many clearly clueless, pallid, overweight young adults wandering around in a daze, if they even bother to get up off their butts at all, I thank my lucky stars I was born wen I was. This is a generalization to which we all can find exceptions but, IME, it accurately reflects the conditions that prevail for far too many young people today.