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Road Mile Risk Scale

Measure risk in terms of highway miles
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Risk of dying from one thing or other is generally measured in deaths per thousand or 100,000 people or some similar method. Despite these numbers people tend to interpret the risk of various behaviors strangely. For example a new disease, or use of a pesticide that happens to be in the news a lot will create a lot of fear, while those same fearful people continue smoking 2 packs a day and drinking their jack daniel's. I think a more understandable unit of risk is in order. If we use the average traffic accident fatality rate on american highways it should be easy enough to convert any risky behavior, at least as it relates to the likelyhood of causing death, into miles driven. How many miles is that parachute jump equivalent to? Am I more likely to die on my way to work this week than jumping out of an airplane? Think of it that way and it doesn't seem so bad. On the other hand... how many road miles is it until my risk of dying is equivalent to my risk of contracting aids from sex with a prostitute in tijuana... hmmm might wanna think twice about that.
brewer, Jul 07 2006

A rant on the subject http://techref.mass...chref/other/911.htm
With some figures and links to sources of information. [James Newton, Jul 10 2006]

[link]






       bike, pedestrian or car?   

       break up your text, dear, for easy reading...   

       & btw, see profile page - bakesperson wants a word.
po, Jul 07 2006
  

       Did you know that the chances of dying in traffic on your way to go buy a lottery ticket are greater than you winning the lottery? bun.
zeno, Jul 09 2006
  

       Great possible addition to Google maps: 200km, 2h24min, risk of death 1.67ppm.
loonquawl, Feb 12 2009
  
      
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