richm
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"Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:21 am

You guys may be interested in watching Richard & Judy on Channel 4. Soon (within next 20 mins), An "expert" is about to come on and is going to tell people why flying in a commercial airliner "is more dangerous than driving" even though many believe the opposite.

Just thought I'd let you know.

[Edited 2006-02-08 18:25:36]
 
ikramerica
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:23 am

Well the expert would be fighting against all statistics known to the free world.

Air travel is most safe, driving is one of the least safe (motorcycles/scooters even less so, as are bicycles).
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
CruzinAltitude
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:24 am

Id be interested in hearing what the "expert" takes into account in this gem of information, but Im going to have to say . . . nope.
 
Glom
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:29 am

Channel 4 have got it in for air travel. Meanies.
 
legacy135
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:34 am

Well, statistics can proof about any b..........it. Let's proof that going to bed is a deadly risk, as about one third of all human beings are going to die in bed! And this is for sure.......... So?

Cheers
Legacy135 Wink
 
Glom
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:38 am

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 4):
Well, statistics can proof about any b..........it. Let's proof that going to bed is a deadly risk, as about one third of all human beings are going to die in bed! And this is for sure.......... So?

Come on. You know that 78% of statistics are made up.
 
lsgg
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:40 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
Well the expert would be fighting against all statistics known to the free world.

In 1985, the worst year in the aviation story, about 2400 people died because of airdisasters... Twice less than the number of people killed on the French road last year (2005).
Yes, the statistics are more than clear  sarcastic 
Swissair forever !
 
lsgg
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:42 am

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 4):
about one third of all human beings are going to die in bed!

If only !
I hope that statistic is correct : I would love to die in that way  Smile
Swissair forever !
 
legacy135
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:44 am

Quoting Glom (Reply 5):
Come on. You know that 78% of statistics are made up.

Sorry, I didn't make so clear what I wanted to say: I wanted to say, that this journalist may proof by his statistic that aviation is unsafe as you say for sure........ 78% od statistics are made up. We both mean the same.

Cheers
Legacy135 Wink
 
HS748
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:45 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
Air travel is most safe, driving is one of the least safe (motorcycles/scooters even less so, as are bicycles).

Not true - on the basis that most people take thousands more journeys in cars than they do in aeroplanes (and live to tell the tale) then statistics do indeed prove that driving is safer. However, we have to remember that statistics can prove anything you want them to - I know, for example, that 100% of respondents who expressed a preference agreed with me, so there, it must be true  Big grin
 
ikramerica
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:55 am

Quoting Glom (Reply 5):
Come on. You know that 78% of statistics are made up.

Yes, 62% of all people know that.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Coronado990
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:34 am

Come on! Driving is not executed in a professional environment. Defensive driving is not professional. Having to drive for ten other people on the road and compensating for their mistakes is not professional. This is far from a safe environment. We can fill every seat in a football stadium yearly with dead people off the road. No one is ever going to convince me driving is safer. Period!
Uncle SAN at your service!
 
andessmf
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:43 am

Well, thats BS.

Must be a slow news day...did the little problem with Iran go away?
 
Demoose
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:45 am

I happened to catch this little feature just now. The guy did not once imply that flying was more dangerous than driving, he merely said its not as safe as it is made out to be due to the way the statistics are generated, ie using miles travelled vs fatalities.

He made the interesting point that, as 75% of air crashes take place during take off and landing, the cruise element which contributes to the largest mileage of a flight, is therefore irrelevant and infact the more accurate way of judging air safety would be to have fatalities vs uplifts of aircraft instead of distance travelled.

When fatalities compared to uplifts is used as a way of assessing safety the difference between air safety and rail/road safety are reduced. However, that is not to say air travel is by any means unsafe, or that ground transportation is safer, but its an intersting point.

Mark
Take a ride...fly across the sky
 
richm
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:56 am

Quoting Demoose (Reply 13):
The guy did not once imply that flying was more dangerous than driving

He didn't in the end, but shortly before he went on the show, Richard & Judy did state exactly that in my threads subject line and implied that it was the views of the expert in question.

[Edited 2006-02-08 19:58:08]
 
phollingsworth
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:56 am

Just to lend some things to the safety question. There are multiple ways that you can compare air-travel to other types of travel in terms of safety. Some of these include

1. Fatalities per pax-trip
2. Fatalities per pax-mile (pax-km)
3. Fatalities per pax-hour

They can all use the same basic input data but the answer as to which one is safer will come out very differently.

Also, one needs to consider what you are comparing. Are you comparing all aviation travel to all automobile/bus travel. Are you comparing professionally driven vehicles only, or some mixture. If you compare all air to all auto, the auto numbers almost always come out better, even on a per pax-mile basis. This is because the fatality rates for general aviation aircraft are awful. The comparison of professionally piloted vehicles only is a little different. This stems from the fact that aviation is so much more highly regulated than things like bus travel.

The typical comparison you here is commercially scheduled flights compared to all or personally driven automobiles. This is not a direct comparison, but is pretty apt as people tend to drive themselves to a destination, but pay a professional to fly them there. In this instance air-travel wins hands down on a fatality per pax-mile basis, as airplane trips are generally much farther. It also wins (in the West) on a fatality per pax-trip basis. So if your argument is that air-travel is safer these two statistics support you. The interesting thing is the third statistic. When comparing Fatalities on a per pax-hour basis, it is almost impossible to tell them apart, as people spend a lot more time in there car than they do on an airplane. If you compare commercial flights to commercial bus travel on a per pax-hour basis the busses win hands down.

All of the comparisons above are accurate. It just shows that there is an inherent bias in the question, based upon the assumptions that are used you can really skew an answer.
 
katekebo
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:57 am

Travelling by airplane is (much) safer than driving based on distance travelled (fatalities per million kilometers travelled).

But on per-trip basis, flying and driving are about the same - you have approximately the same probability of dying in an accident every time you fly and every time you ride in a car (even if the car trip may be only 5 minutes long) - approx. 1.5 per million on global basis. The probabilities change widely depending on the place you travel in - it's approx. 1 in a million in USA, about two times higher in Europe, and as many as 5 to 20 times higher in Africa or some Asian countries. But the probability of suffering a fatal accident on a given trip by airplane or by car remains roughly similar regardless of the location.
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:57 am

One statistic that is proven correct is that 100% of people will die.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
phollingsworth
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:51 am

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 17):
One statistic that is proven correct is that 100% of people will die.

Watch out because you are extrapolating a time series. There actually is an increasing error band as you project forward in time. This means from a purely statistical point of view there is a finite probability that someone alive today will not die, and the younger an individual is the higher the probability is that they would be this individual. A hypothesis test that will stand a better chance of holding is that everyone who was born in the significant past died.
 
LH459
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:07 am

Quoting Phollingsworth (Reply 18):
Watch out because you are extrapolating a time series. There actually is an increasing error band as you project forward in time. This means from a purely statistical point of view there is a finite probability that someone alive today will not die, and the younger an individual is the higher the probability is that they would be this individual. A hypothesis test that will stand a better chance of holding is that everyone who was born in the significant past died.

 wideeyed 

No wonder I nearly flunked statistics...
"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is temporary; the evil it does is permanent" - Ghandi
 
HS748
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:32 am

Quoting Phollingsworth (Reply 18):
Watch out because you are extrapolating a time series. There actually is an increasing error band as you project forward in time. This means from a purely statistical point of view there is a finite probability that someone alive today will not die, and the younger an individual is the higher the probability is that they would be this individual. A hypothesis test that will stand a better chance of holding is that everyone who was born in the significant past died.

Sounds like a politicians answer to me! There is no doubt that the original quote was 100% accurate - every one of us will die at some stage and to suggest that statistically that isn't true is just a bag full of old nonsense.
 
PanAm747
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:20 am

"...Air travel is MUCH more dangerous than driving...and if you've been injured in an airplane accident, you need the law offices of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe...call us at 1-800-NO-CASE for a free  wink  quote".

"The problem with the world is that there are too many stupid people out there...and no one to eat them!" - Carlos Mencia. I completely agree.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:16 am

Quoting Phollingsworth (Reply 18):
Watch out because you are extrapolating a time series. There actually is an increasing error band as you project forward in time. This means from a purely statistical point of view there is a finite probability that someone alive today will not die, and the younger an individual is the higher the probability is that they would be this individual. A hypothesis test that will stand a better chance of holding is that everyone who was born in the significant past died.

I'm glad I took College Algebra instead of Statistics now  crazy   faint   fever 
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
bond007
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:30 am

The quote kind if implies, and I may be wrong, that it's more dangerous to fly from say Tampa to Atlanta, than to drive the 7 hours.

I'll leave it to the people with the figures, but I'm guessing that the 7hr drive you're MUCH more likely to be killed in a road accident than on the 1 hour flight....in fact I almost was killed and totalled my car on that drive, but that's another story!

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
rigo
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:39 am

Quoting Demoose (Reply 13):
He made the interesting point that, as 75% of air crashes take place during take off and landing, the cruise element which contributes to the largest mileage of a flight, is therefore irrelevant and infact the more accurate way of judging air safety would be to have fatalities vs uplifts of aircraft instead of distance travelled.

When fatalities compared to uplifts is used as a way of assessing safety the difference between air safety and rail/road safety are reduced. However, that is not to say air travel is by any means unsafe, or that ground transportation is safer, but its an intersting point.

That's an interesting point, but you can also turn it the other way around: it means that air travel puts you at risk almost only during takeoff and landing; but the WHOLE trip is dangerous when driving. Therefore for long-distance travel, flying should be much safer than driving (sure, there's little doubt about this...)

Regards
 
planespotting
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:13 am

Quoting HS748 (Reply 20):

Sounds like a politicians answer to me! There is no doubt that the original quote was 100% accurate - every one of us will die at some stage and to suggest that statistically that isn't true is just a bag full of old nonsense.

Nah, his response was not a politicians response. It was a measured statistical formality from which he was able to logically deduce an hypothesis based on assumption, reason and fact.


how was that?
Do you like movies about gladiators?
 
OPNLguy
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:16 am

Quoting Glom (Reply 3):
Channel 4 have got it in for air travel. Meanies.

It's a "sweeps" rating period now, when they bring they trot out all the "exposes" of stuff that really doesn't warrant an "expose"...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
supa7E7
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:28 am

_Per journey_, one person could be more likely to die in a plane than a car. But an average plane journey is like 800 miles, and car journey about 8 miles.

Key question: Are pilots more likely to die in planes or cars? Including military and private.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
bond007
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:41 am

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 27):
_Per journey_, one person could be more likely to die in a plane than a car. But an average plane journey is like 800 miles, and car journey about 8 miles.

Right, but it's not a good comparison.
What about the same trip by plane and car? Isn't that fair?

That's how you might compare a bus trip vs a car trip (or 2 different cars)...the likelyhood of dying from A to B same trip for both.

Like somebody said...you make stats say anything you want, presented the right (or wrong) way.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
piercey
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:03 pm

Quoting HS748 (Reply 9):
Not true - on the basis that most people take thousands more journeys in cars than they do in aeroplanes

flying is not pratical when you're going to the store just around the corner  Wink

I'd like, just for once, someone to show me stats on car vs. plane stats when local trips aren't included! That's all I see!!!
Well I believe it all is coming to an end. Oh well, I guess we are gonna pretend.
 
BG777300ER
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:03 pm

I am going to have to say that in my opinion, Air Travel is much less safe than driving a car. Many people only look at numbers of how many people have died in a year and thats how they compare the two: this isn't right. See when you're in a car, you are not guaranteed to die if you get in an accident. But on a plane, if something happens, you are very likely to die. I think this is why air travel is not as safe as driving a car is.
Koi mi sra v gashtite?
 
piercey
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:14 pm

Quoting BG777300ER (Reply 30):
But on a plane, if something happens, you are very likely to die. I think this is why air travel is not as safe as driving a car is.

*cough* miracle in YYZ, UPS @ PHL today, midair collision over Millwaukee that one plane made it on the ground, B6 @ LAX, AS decompression, etc. *cough*
Well I believe it all is coming to an end. Oh well, I guess we are gonna pretend.
 
bond007
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:25 pm

Quoting BG777300ER (Reply 30):
See when you're in a car, you are not guaranteed to die if you get in an accident. But on a plane, if something happens, you are very likely to die. I think this is why air travel is not as safe as driving a car is.

That's why we are talking about fatalities not accidents.

There is no logic in saying that just because if a plane crashes you are more likely to die than in a car accident....that could be true but there might just be one plane crash per 100 years where everyone dies, all 150 of 'em ... does that mean it's still less safe because of that fact?


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
AirlineAV8tr
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:32 pm

It's unbelievable with so much evidence to the contrary, that even a short hop would be dangerous. And by the way, the most dangerous form of mass transit- by a HUGE margin, is the ferry boat! Another one just went down taking over 1,000 lives.....
If we went into the funeral business, people would stop dying.-Martin S. (PanAm CEO)
 
m404
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:51 pm

In Memphis, if you survive the Interstate to the airport, you've got a pretty good chance of getting to Grandma's
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
Ilovenz
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:13 pm

Here's the big question I have: Can I truly trust the integrity of the vast amounts of coordinated effort to keep me safe in the air when airlines are doing all they can to save money and safety supervision is performed by a government (U.S.) that is not known for its honesty?

I'm becoming more and more skeptical that airlines in the U.S. are NOT cutting corners in their safety practices.
 
wjcandee
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:47 pm

This is the kind of irresponsible journalism that gets people killed. One great benefit of the "Southwest Effect" is that the lower fares divert people from cars to planes for family vacation trips to Orlando and the like, and thereby save lives. People have inherent fear of flying in part because they (wrongly) believe that they're safer when they are in control of their vehicle. This is of course profoundly wrong. Most people don't even check their tire pressure before a long-distance drive, and when was the last time that your average 40 year old driver took something as basic as a refresher course on how to avoid sudden obstacles, or how to enter a high-speed turn? [I took a Porsche Driving School course a few years ago, and it was an eye-opener. That single day really improved my skills -- I could see that as we did various maneuvers over and over and over and they yelled at me all day. It then saved my life about six months later when the idiot dark-window pickup truck (through whose windows I couldn't see the road ahead) made a hard left yank out of the center lane at 80 miles and hour (and almost lost control) to reveal the Highway Department truck stopped effin' DEAD in the center lane with puny left arrow flashing on the back and no cones behind it. I just slid precisely into the right lane just as we had practiced it over and over, and therefore lived -- although I didn't stop shaking until I got off the road, called the DOT, and yelled and yelled and yelled.] Just on the basis of training, preparation, maintenance and monitoring, the common carrier (professional transportation) wins every time.

Of course, after the media killed ValuJet, and for a period after 9/11, and when the media scared people about lap-children, the media-fanned fear put people back into their cars for the long haul, and the US DOT actually did a study that both extrapolated and confirmed with real data the fact that the diversion back to cars killed a bunch of vacationers. In fact, a similar study was done about lap kids. Conclusion: yes, in the unlikely event that the aircraft crashes, the kid becomes a projectile and dies. However, forcing people to purchase a seat for the kid means that a bunch of people will be forced by finances to put the kid in their car and drive for that trip, putting the kid at vastly greater peril. The social cost of the rule was (amazingly wisely) determined to be greater than the social cost of not implementing the rule. Let the media get ahold of that -- demanding an end to lap children -- and a lot more kids will die.

Of course, the car deaths (2000 per DAY, just deaths, not horrific injuries, by the way worldwide), come in onesies and twosies and threesies, and when we see the occasional "family of four killed in collision with truck" story on TV, it's treated more as a story about the inconvenience of the rush-hour road closing than anything that somebody would make endless TV movies about, the way they do with every airliner crash that kills 100 in one shot. That accident this morning on the Gowanus Expressway doesn't merit days of coverage on CNN, with endless experts speculating about the cause and how to keep it ever from happening again. So people don't obsess about how they might be hurt in a car, because they've survived so far. And they have no appreciation about deceleration and the forces exerted by safety devices. Crikies -- I saw some folks on TV this morning talking about how Brittney Spears' lap-baby "could have been hurt" if even a fender-bender had caused her steering-wheel airbag to deploy. No, morons, the child would have been killed -- no question about it. The airbag would have driven her little head right between Brit's silicone sacs and crushed Brit's breastbone into her heart cavity. And then people would have been just shocked that an airbag would have "wrongly" killed Brit and her kid. "Well", said the other host, "it actually could have killed her." "Well, that's a little dramatic," was the response. Uh, no. It's not.

No question about it, when the media prey on people's fears of flying and divert them to cars for long-distance travel, people die.

As to the "well it's most dangerous on takeoff and landing so the interim miles don't count" argument, that's just crap. Wanna play that game? You're most likely to die in a car within a few miles of your home. Big deal. You're going from A to B. No matter how you slice it, you're safer taking a common carrier aircraft.

Best,

Bill
 
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yowza
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:51 pm

All of this depends on whether you're flying America West and how close it is to happy hour no?  Wink

YOWza
 
str8fromthe808
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:11 pm

Quoting BG777300ER (Reply 30):
I am going to have to say that in my opinion, Air Travel is much less safe than driving a car. Many people only look at numbers of how many people have died in a year and thats how they compare the two: this isn't right. See when you're in a car, you are not guaranteed to die if you get in an accident. But on a plane, if something happens, you are very likely to die. I think this is why air travel is not as safe as driving a car is.

Well, in general your opinion makes sense given a 1 to 1 crash ratio but remember you are immensely more likely to get into a car accident than be involved in an air disaster.

car wrecks are something so common that unless about 10 of them pile up and keep a zillion people form getting to work on time nobody takes notice. An airplane falling out of the sky seems to have a different effect, maybe because it isn't so common...
it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness...chinese proverb
 
varig767
Posts: 231
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:40 pm

This site is regarding methods of computing air safety.

http://www.airsafe.com/events/method.htm

regards, Martijn
 
don0245
Posts: 16
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:42 pm

They obviously haven't been on roads in Massachusetts!
 
mytravel330
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2005 8:30 pm

RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:06 pm

I would rather spend my working day flying round the skies than travel round the M25 my chances of surviving the day would be greater and I don,t need any media geek to tell me otherwise.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: "Air Travel = More Dangerous Than Driving"

Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:41 am

Quoting HS748 (Reply 20):
Quoting Phollingsworth (Reply 18):
Watch out because you are extrapolating a time series. There actually is an increasing error band as you project forward in time. This means from a purely statistical point of view there is a finite probability that someone alive today will not die, and the younger an individual is the higher the probability is that they would be this individual. A hypothesis test that will stand a better chance of holding is that everyone who was born in the significant past died.

Sounds like a politicians answer to me! There is no doubt that the original quote was 100% accurate - every one of us will die at some stage and to suggest that statistically that isn't true is just a bag full of old nonsense.

Going a bit OT here but what Phollingsworth said is in fact statistically true. Your error is that you are assuming (treating as a "fact") that everyone will die. But scientifically (statistical and medical science) it's not a fact. You can't prove that everyone will die statistically. And medically... Well I'm not saying that immortality is around the corner but lot of current research money is being spent on extending lifespans. Never say never.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos