[ExI] US average life expectancy reached new high

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Fri Jun 20 08:20:38 UTC 2008

On Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 10:34 PM, Max More wrote:
> Now 78. Some comments on this and comparisons to other countries by Ron Bailey:
> http://www.reason.com/news/show/127038.html
> Now, if we in the USA can just get rid of our dictatorial traffic
> laws and adopt more easy-going ones such as in the UK, the average
> life expectancy should go up again. On this, see, for instance,
> "Distracting Miss Daisy": http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/traffic

Ron makes some good points in his article, but misses the cautionary
comment in the CDC report.
The preliminary number of deaths in the United States in 2006 was
2,425,900, a 22,117 decrease from the 2005 total. With a rapidly
growing older population, declines in the number of deaths (as opposed
to death rates) are unusual, and the 2006 decline is likely the result
of more mild influenza mortality in 2006 compared with 2005.

So don't start cheering too quickly.
As they say in the UK, there's nothing like a hard winter and a good
flu season for culling the old folk.

The road deaths comparison between the US and UK misses the main
causes of road deaths.
The article claims that the over-signage on US roads is training
drivers to drive by reading the signs rather than watching the road
conditions and also causing driver inattention to road conditions.
While this may be a valid point, surely it is a very minor point.

The main group having road accidents in the US are young male drivers.
And I don't think that is because they are spending their time reading
road signs. More like ignoring them completely.
DIU is also still a big factor, as is not wearing seat belts or crash helmets.
The US also has vastly more rural roads where the majority of accidents occur.

There are other differences, but it is a complex subject.


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