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The Dumbest Thing I Have Heared  
User currently offlineEugdog From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 518 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1782 times:

Here it is

"air travel is the safest way to travel on a per mile basis -but it is no safer then cars on a per trip basis"

This is stated by many aviation journalists and aviation safety activists.

This maybe true but it is grossly misleading. Most car trips are under a few miles (90% under three miles in England). How can you compare that to an average air trip of several hundred miles. Should you compare a 3 mile trip to the groceries with a 1000 mile flight to another city?

Moreover the risk of accident from car journeys is preportional to miles driven - whilst aviation risk is only perportion to each take off and landings.

Perhaps the most useful statistic is the risk per journey of a given stage lenght where either car and plane can be used. ie say 300-500 journey. This eliminates the 3 mile grocery run which planes are not practical. It also eliminates the long haul flight where cars are practical

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineH. Simpson From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 949 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (14 years 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1770 times:

Based on what you said, the statement is essentially BS

User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (14 years 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1693 times:

Per-trip comparison is not unreasonable at all if taken from the passenger's point of view. It's no consolation to say that an aircraft managed to fly 9,999 miles in perfect safety (and more safely than a car) if the damn thing crashes on approach in the last mile -- you can't separate the "safe" miles from the "unsafe" one. It's an all-or-nothing deal.

Uneducated nonsense about statistics and safety doesn't just come from journalists and safety gurus either; there's no shortage of aviation enthusiasts and spotters who know jack-all about statistics too.

User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 32
Reply 3, posted (14 years 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1609 times:

Uhhh... not really. If you get in your car and drive away now, you have less chance of dying than if you get on a plane and fly away....

User currently offline744rules From Belgium, joined Mar 2002, 408 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1598 times:

I think the most dangerous part of flying, is the trip to the airport.
BTW some politician once said : There are small lies. There are big lies. And you have statistics

User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (14 years 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1528 times:

Statistics are fine. But they are very sensitive to interpretation. That's where the art lies, and too many people are utterly crap at understanding statistics and how they can and can't be interpreted.

User currently offlineWingman From Seychelles, joined May 1999, 2882 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (14 years 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1502 times:

How about comparing the relative safety by dividing number of fatalities into the total number of flyers or drivers in any given year. I'm sure someone is already calculating thsis and seems much fairer to me at least. X number of poeple get on the road, Y number of people die...X number get on planes, Y number die. There's no other way to look at it because this simple ratio takes into account all flyers (private, commercial, military etc) and all drivers (moms, truckers, bus passengers etc.) and the distances each segment drives is relative to a "matching" segment in the other category of transport. Then again, I'm a complete failure at math so could be missing something here.

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