Monday, October 7, 2013

What are you afraid of?

In 2011, in the United States
  • There was 32,367 traffic fatalities;
  • There were 677 cyclist fatalities as a result of traffic incidents;
  • The leading causes of death among adults age 45 to 64 was
    • Cancer 32%
    • Heart Disease 21%
    • Accidents 7%
    • Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases 4%
    • Liver Disease 4%
    • All other causes 32%
  • There were 6 terrorist fatalities.
There is a lot of bad shit going down.  And the bad shit gets on the headlines of mass media, who replay the video over and over and over until the images are burned deep into our psyche.  It breeds fear and it breeds hysteria.

And it breeds an environment where in the face of bad shit being replayed by mass media, something must be done. And frequently while something must be done, it isnt the right thing, and it doesnt make things better.

But here is what didnt make it to the 3 minute sound bite at the top of the hour: Cyclist Struck on Route 50; Van Strikes Boy on Bicycle in Pottstown; Driver Cited After Hitting Man on Bicycle

If we must do something, let's do something about the greater risk. First, let's be damn sure that do-something-security-theater doesnt make us less safe (placing obstructions in traffic in the name of fighting terrorism that do little to help but do lots to make the road less safe). Second, let's worry about what should be worried about.  You are 5333 times more likely (did I do the math right?) to die in a traffic accident than to die as a result of terrorism.

Sez to me, if we must do something, then we must focus on making traffic safer.

Sources: 2011 Motor Vehicle Accidents, Overview, DOT; Terrorist Deaths, Injuries, Kidnappings of US Citizens, State Dept. 2011; Integrated United States Security Database (IUSSD): Data on the Terrorist Attacks in the United States Homeland, 1970 to 2011; National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, A Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Center of Excellence, Based at the University of Maryland; Deaths in the United States 2011, NCHS Data Brief; Death rates from terrorism, United States and Israel, 1985-2013

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