Misunderstanding rationality
Koen Smets

the risk of dying in a car crash is 100 times higher than that of perishing in an air disaster.

Hmmmm … how are the figure calculated, however?

People make many more journeys by car than they do by plane, so is it really a valid comparison?

If it’s simply a comparison of the numbers of total deaths then it’s apples and oranges.

What is the ratio of journeys made by each mode of transport to deaths as a result of each?

If, for every 10,0oo journies you make by car, you die in one of them (the last one, obviously), but for every 1,000 journies you make by plane, you die … then the car is a safer bet.

Then there’s the ratio of total crashes for each mode of transport to the number of fatal-crashes.

I may be quibbling semantics here, but … given that I might walk away from a car-crash (or at least be carried away) but that there is almost certainly no chance whatsoever of my surviving a plane-crash … I’d suggest that the risk of dying in a plane-crash were immeasurably higher than the risk of doing so in a car.

So … like for like figures, please: for every X number of journies made by means of each, how many times will I crash and how likely am I to survive that crash when it happens?

Also … given the enormous disparity in numbers of each vehicle in transit at any given time … please also factor in what the numbers would be if there were the same number of planes in the air as cars on the roads.

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