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Q: relative rates of death: auto accident vs. homicide ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: relative rates of death: auto accident vs. homicide
Category: Science > Social Sciences
Asked by: thisguy-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 20 Dec 2005 07:33 PST
Expires: 19 Jan 2006 07:33 PST
Question ID: 607925
Which is greater:

the probability of dying in an automobile accident in the
Philadelphia, PA metro area making a daily commute of about 35 miles
(round trip) over 1 year


the probability of dying as a victim of homicide in the 19145 zip code
in South Philadelphia over 1 year?

Please provide references.  We have a serious debate to settle.
Subject: Re: relative rates of death: auto accident vs. homicide
Answered By: webadept-ga on 20 Dec 2005 08:40 PST

Interesting debate. 

From 1999-2001 414 people died in Philadelphia from auto accidents

In the same years 920 people died from murder in Philadelphia

Zipcodes are not used for Statistics, even by the US Census, so there
is not database of murder by zipcode. However, Philadelphia does have
a crime database:
which you can use to get the numbers you are looking for. It does a
Monthly Summary, but if you set the year, and then the month to
December, then choose YTD it will give you total for the year.

Choosing South Central (where your zipcode is)

1999 : Not available in database
2000 : 42
2001 : 37
2002 : 46

So I would say that driving in Philadelphia is still far more
dangerous than walking through the South Side.

Sites of Interest


Death Statistics

Neighborhood of 19145

thanks and Happy Holidays, (stay off the roads)


Request for Answer Clarification by thisguy-ga on 20 Dec 2005 09:22 PST
this is helpful, however, if we're comparing rates, we'd need a
denominator.  in the case of homicides, the denominator would just be
the number of people in the philadelphia metro area (we'll make this
our new criterion based on convenience).  in the case of the motor
vehicle accident deaths, the denominator would have to be something
like the # of people riding in cars or number of registred and
non-registered vehicles on the road times the average number of riders
per vehicle.  do you think you could find these denominators, or some
reasonable approximation, for us?

also, you conclude that driving is far more dangerous.  this was my
original contention.  but it seems like the data points the other way.
 how do you get that from the data you gave us?

thanks for your help thus far.
Subject: Re: relative rates of death: auto accident vs. homicide
From: markiimg-ga on 21 Dec 2005 10:12 PST
You ask how webadept-ga came to the answer that driving is more dangerous?

well  Murders in south Central = 125 in 3 years 
2000 : 42
2001 : 37
2002 : 46

DrivingF rom 1999-2001 414 people died in Philadelphia from auto accidents

I know the years stated are diffrent but still a diffrence of 289
(more road deaths)
I'd asume that it is more dangerous to drive than walk the streets..........

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