I am a bleeding heart liberal, but I agree with you on this subject. I
have done R&D on Driver distraction for the past 10 years and have
reached the same conclusion for car crashes. Each year in the US there
are approx 43,000 deaths and about 3,000,000 reported crashes. M'gawd
the sky is falling and we must do something about this overwhelming
But let's take a look at the HUGH total of miles driven or hours on the
road for ALL the drivers. The % is something like 1 crash /10000 hours
of driving or .00001%. Every driver considers him/herself a superior
driver, and probably should, because they have VERY few crashes over
their lifetime of driving. No matter how much we improve the safety of
the car ($) or the roads ($$$) or the infrastructure ($$$$$$) there will
always be a very small percentage of crashes due to distraction or
drinking or mere wrong place, wrong time circumstances.
Yes, when there are crashes they are horrendous, the victims are in need
of emergency help, and it makes the evening news, but consider the vast
majority that are home safely and watching the evening news.
I do think that repeat traffic offenders that have much higher than
average crashes should be denied any access to drivable cars, however.
My suggestion is ...
whether in a car, or on a bike, or motorcycle,or even walking..
to wear a custom helmet made from a walmart battery.
Simply cut open the top of the battery with your exacto knife or shrub
trimmer and dump the contents and top out.
Attach a strap to the bottom box shell, and place on head.
Always wear your helmet!
I'd also like to see the original data. He doesn't cite it. Very bad
and doesn't allow anyone to check his numbers.
AND that is not what the article says. It says that any given person
has a 1 in 88 chance of dying due to a car crash, not that 1 in 88
people will die in a car crash. BIG difference. In any given year there
are about 43000 deaths from car crashes in the US. There are
190,625,023 (data from 2000)licensed drivers in the US. You do the
math. Hint- about .0002%
Read an article headed- "Cellphone dangerous for young drivers,
especially those with ADHD". Seems he found an old 1997 study long
discredited for bad science on cellphones and driving crashes. Remember
the size of the 1995 (when the data was collected)cellphones- the Brick.
Then he found another study that showed that "Youths with ADHD had 4X
as many accidents as those without" THEN he combined these two studies
that didn't have anything to do with each other and came to the
conclusion that youthful drivers with ADHD who use a cell phone were
especially dangerous. Maybe, but there has NEVER been a study to test that.
On 10/19/2007 7:52 PM Chip spake these words of knowledge:
First, when the original article states that any given person has a 1 in
88 chance of dying due to a car crash, it does mean, specifically, that
1 in 88 people will die due to a car crash. No difference, when you are
talking about statistical probabilities.
.0002 is (roughly) the ratio. Expressed as a percentage, the figure is
100 times that size - .02255%, in fact. You made the most common error
when trying to express your figure as a percentage. More to the point,
your number represents a per annum figure rather than an estimate over
the average lifetime of the average driver; for example, if the average
driver drives for an average of 40 years, and we posited that the ratio
of deaths to the number of drivers did not significantly change, you
would multiply that single annual figure by 40 to get the number
representing what any given person's lifetime chance of dying in a car
crash is. In my example, that number is .90229% - very nearly 1%, or 1
out of 100. If the average driver drove 50 years, the percentage is
1.1278; the chance of dying is 1 out of 88.66.
I'm not trying to argue the originator's point, only fix your math
Brian Kernighan wrote, "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code
in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as
On 10/20/2007 2:56 PM Larry in AZ spake these words of knowledge:
Let me say this again; try reading it slowly. It's not per annum; it's
lifetime. At 43 thousand a year, your number of deaths would happen in
under 80 years. (Even for your usage, your number is wrong, because
it's based on the entire population rather than the driving population.
But it would still happen.)
Rather than say, "Nope, can't be", perhaps you will provide some basis
for why it can't be.
(Hint: you need a basic understanding of mathematics to participate
meaningfully in the discussion.)
"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact,
every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a god;
If I'm thinking per annum, then perhaps I'm wrong. You're also wrong
assuming it's based on the driving population. The article talks about an
American's chances of dying due to the charted reasons. It never says
"licensed" or "driving" population. IOW, it's based on the entire
population, as are the rest of the listed causes of death.
Read it again yourself.
Larry J. - Remove spamtrap in ALLCAPS to e-mail
"A lack of common sense is now considered a disability,
43,000 or so have died annually in auto related accidents in 2005 and 2006,
you do the math.
Here is a more alarming static. Far more young men, between the ages of 18
and 25, have been murdered in US cities, then have been killed in our war
with the radical Islamic terrorist around the world, since 9/11 2001
Oh (diety of your choice). I have to put up with a helmet war in a
I'll give one of the con side arguments, although I do often commute
by bike (15 miles each way) and do wear a helmet.
Folks, because of various factors like coolness and hair styles, do
not like wearing helmets so they don't ride a bike. Also, the need to
wear a helmet reinforces the idea that biking is dangerous. Therefore,
less people bike than would otherwise. Because one of the greatest
factors in improving bike safety is to increase the number of
cyclists, wearing helmets makes biking less safe.
So be careful of using anecdotal evidence. If more folks were biking
and not wearing helmets, you might actually see less split heads over
That is without a doubt the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen regarding
Biking IS more dangerous, but not due to the activity itself, but the
actions of others. Fact is, if a car hits you on the bike/motorcycle, you
are more likely to have fatal injuries than the person driving the car.
Statistics back me up, so your argument does not stand.
As I said, your life is in the hands of *others* - best to protect yourself
as much as possible.
And before someone says it, I know most car/bike accidents are caused by the
car driver, but, as an old Florida Highway Patrol public service ad put it -
"You may be in the right. *Dead* right."
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