The avalung success stories I’ve read are fairly ambiguous, it seems quite a hard thing to test properly. I don’t think there’s much emotion required though, it’s probably a lot more to do with cash.
The selling point of an airbag is an extremely well known and well understood scientific principle, ie inverse segregation. It has the beauty of being easy to test, basically you can toss a dummy with an inflated airbag into an avalanche and prove very quickly that your product does what it claims*. The Canadian study above takes that further and looks how it’s worked in the field.
It’s always looked to me that testing the avalung is pretty hard and the success stories are hard to interpret. I wonder if there’s enough cases to be significant in any study if you used the same methodology as the Canadian study and restricted it to professional users.
The Canadian study makes some valid points about manufacturer data for ABS but even that’s better than anything I’ve seen for an avalung so far. There was an ISSW paper years ago about the avalung which might appear on google.
It’s also commented that BCA were critical of the study which I think overstates it a bit. It’s just good science to have comments and feedback from other professionals. The BCA numbers I saw were suggesting over 50% for incidents involving airbags which looks about right compared to the high 90’s figures we’ve seen in the past.
All that said, I’m sure most purchases of airbags are emotional, or based on what someone said on the internet, but that’s hardly surprising as you can say much the same about buying cars, fridges, pensions or houses.
* proving the concept is one thing, demonstrating it works in practice is something else entirely.