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Q: air travel statisticaly safer than car travel ? myth ? Evidence? ( Answered ,   10 Comments )
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 Subject: air travel statisticaly safer than car travel ? myth ? Evidence? Category: Science > Math Asked by: bluekat-ga List Price: \$6.00 Posted: 27 Jan 2004 03:53 PST Expires: 26 Feb 2004 03:53 PST Question ID: 300663
 ```You allways hear "air travel is statisticaly safer than car travel" Can somebody fine any evidance to support this ? I would like to see some statistical data, with exactly how they work it out mathematicaly.......if possible. if somebody does find some info, can we get a date on it too, like was the calculation before or after sept 11```
 Subject: Re: air travel statisticaly safer than car travel ? myth ? Evidence? Answered By: hailstorm-ga on 27 Jan 2004 04:33 PST Rated:
 ```bluekat, The Boeing website has a page dedicated to promoting airline safety: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/safety/pf/pf_howsafe.html Although one would assume that Boeing has a vested interest in showing the safety of air travel. However, they cite a study from 1993-1995 by the U.S. National Safety Council that shows that flying in a commercial jet is approximately 22 times safer than car travel. Although the National Safety Council website does not have the actual report on line, they do confirm the relative safety of air travel on their "What are the odds of dying? Statistics 2000" site http://www.nsc.org/lrs/statinfo/odds.htm Here is a small selection from that list: Type of Accident or Manner of Injury Deaths One Year Odds Lifetime Odds ------------------------------------ ------ ---------------- -------------- Car occupant 14,813 1 in 18,585 1 in 242 Pedestrian 5,870 1 in 46,901 1 in 610 Motorcycle rider 2,765 1 in 99,568 1 in 1,295 Air and space transport accidents 777 1 in 354,319 1 in 4,608 Bus occupant 20 1 in 13,765,300 1 in 179,003 Occupant of streetcar 1 1 in 275,306,000 1 in 3,580,052 It's interesting to note that while air travel results in far less fatalities than car travel, ground based mass transit is far safer still than air travel in the United States. So while the air travel industry can legitimately claim to cause far less deaths than personal car travel (or even good old walking), it is still no match for the slow but dependable bus in terms of safety. On a personal note, after seeing this report, I have decided to limit my travel to streetcars whenever possible. Sources cited: -------------- Boeing http://www.boeing.com/ National Safety Council http://www.nsc.org/ Search terms used: ------------------ air travel car safer study "U.S. National Safety Council"```
 bluekat-ga rated this answer: `thankyou`

 Subject: Re: air travel statisticaly safer than car travel ? myth ? Evidence? From: leoj-ga on 27 Jan 2004 08:47 PST
 ```I visited the nsc website referenced above and have to say the results are fairly misleading and don't really relate to the question. Since the results simply take the number of deaths by a cause and divide by the population, there is no weighting of the amount of man-hours participating in the activity mentioned. As an example, I would point out that one would not actually have any likelihood of dying on a streetcar unless one actually rode a streetcar. More relevantly, the number of deaths in an activity needs to be divided by the number of man-hours spent by people involved in the activity to more accurately assess the risk. So, unless one were to compare the number of deaths/total man-hours spent driving + being a passenger in a car to the number of deaths/total man-hours spent flying + being a passenger in a plane, an accurate comparison cannot be made. Hope that helps.```
 Subject: Re: air travel statisticaly safer than car travel ? myth ? Evidence? From: leoj-ga on 27 Jan 2004 08:52 PST
 ```Oh, not to beat a dead horse (so to speak), but I did want to point out that there is nothing terribly wrong with how the information is presented on the website. It merely says it is a presentation of the odds of dying in one of those activities. The error is that this has nothing to do with how dangerous those activities are.```
 Subject: Re: air travel statisticaly safer than car travel ? myth ? Evidence? From: probonopublico-ga on 27 Jan 2004 09:00 PST
 ```What a great question; what a great answer; and what great comments (until mine ... a touch of false modesty). It demonstrates how organisations use statistics for their own advantage. No surprise there.```
 Subject: Re: air travel statisticaly safer than car travel ? myth ? Evidence? From: hailstorm-ga on 27 Jan 2004 23:53 PST
 `"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics." - Mark Twain`
 Subject: Re: air travel statisticaly safer than car travel ? myth ? Evidence? From: hailstorm-ga on 27 Jan 2004 23:57 PST
 ```More accurately, from Mark Twain's autobiography, as originally stated by Leonard Courtney. http://www.boondocksnet.com/twaintexts/quotes_not_twain.html```
 Subject: Re: air travel statisticaly safer than car travel ? myth ? Evidence? From: bluekat-ga on 28 Jan 2004 02:38 PST
 ```thankyou all for your coments , from the infomation presented by the reseacher and also from the coments from Leoj-ga I have the opinion that air travel is alot more dangerous than advertised, which goes along with what i have thought for a long time. I mean to compare airplane and car in a fair way, one would have to have the same people useing a car every day , flying in a plane everyday, or to be more accrute they should be passengers in a car every day compared with being a pasenger on a airplane everyday. ok i know this does not happen in the real world but this would be a fair comparison.........it really just shows how dangerous air travel is now, since sept 11, how many planes have crashed , shoot down or hijacked, then we had sars, and of course if u visited certain airports , like heathro in england the chances would increase even more..............i remember last year when the army had over 400 soilders at the airport anyway I sonmewhat feel that it is not possible to calculate it or even compare it to car travel.```
 Subject: Re: air travel statisticaly safer than car travel ? myth ? Evidence? From: mnesin-ga on 30 Jan 2004 11:04 PST
 ```I'd be interested to know how many people get killed driving to/from the airport (or killed by someone driving to/from an airport) versus how many are killed by the air travel itsself. I've always figured once I got to the terminal, the dangerous part was over.```
 Subject: Re: air travel statisticaly safer than car travel ? myth ? Evidence? From: racecar-ga on 02 Feb 2004 11:32 PST
 ```I think the appropriate statistic to use to compare safety of air vs car travel is deaths per passenger mile (rather than total deaths or deaths per passenger hour). Using this statistic, you can tell whether the probability of death while getting from point A to point B is higher in a car or a plane.```
 Subject: Re: air travel statisticaly safer than car travel ? myth ? Evidence? From: racecar-ga on 02 Feb 2004 11:42 PST
 ```Check out: http://plus.maths.org/issue15/editorial/ This site claims that flying is about 100 times safer than driving, which in turn is about 50 times safer than riding a motorcycle.```
 Subject: Re: air travel statisticaly safer than car travel ? myth ? Evidence? From: leoj-ga on 06 Feb 2004 11:22 PST
 ```I came back to modify my comment, but found that racecar-ga had done essentially the same thing. If properly done, deaths per passenger mile would seem to be a more useful metric, since the overall safety could be assessed by comparing the total passenger miles traveled in the different modes in a given year. And honestly, I believe flying is much, much more safe that car travel. Mainly because there are no SUVs in the air.```