[ExI] US traffic deaths dropped to new low

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Apr 15 06:40:05 UTC 2011

>... On Behalf Of Damien Sullivan
Subject: Re: [ExI] US traffic deaths dropped to new low

On Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 04:30:12PM -0700, spike wrote:

>> I would argue that we should count all fatalities that would not have 
> occurred had the person not risked mass transit...  Our cars are our
rubber and steel war 
> horses, our rolling

>"cars are safer than mass transit"

>...Are they?  What's the evidence?  You typed a lot of FUD about mass
transit crime risks, but no numbers.  You're bringing it up, so how many
people do die due to taking mass transit for reasons not captured in the
accident statistics?...

The point of my bringing in the two websites citing numbers disparate by a
factor of 8 is that the numbers you ask for are elusive.  They depend on how
you count.  There isn't a clear right or wrong way to reduce messy human
interactions to numbers.  Even counting homicides doesn't completely get at
the problem, because plenty of what are defined as traffic fatalities are
actually homicides.  Do they get double counted?  There isn't a clear answer
to this one.

>...I note that while deaths due to cars are 32,000, I see 15,000-18,000 for
murder or homicide rates...

Ja.  If someone is driving drunk and manages to slay themselves and their
passengers, how is that counted?  Why is that counted?  I would consider it
a suicide.  If racing triple digits on a motorcycle, how?  I can give a
personal example of a colleague who perished just that way, and that one was
ruled a suicide for insurance purposes and a traffic fatality for legal

>> suit of armor.  We have the option of carrying our 38 caliber lance 
> tucked down between the seats.  Even if that isn't safer, it sure as 
> hell feels safer.

>..."Damn the facts, I feel better!"

If this could be reduced to numbers I would do it.  Driving risk can be
enormously reduced by taking a few simple precautions, very simple ones.
Similarly, risk of homicide can be greatly reduced just by staying out of
that section of town where they happen.  Do you not know where that is?
Visit the local police station, likely they have a map with pins in there.
Note how tightly they cluster.  Stay out of there.

>...Your "rolling suit of armor" is an enemy tank in someone else's hands...
-xx- Damien X-)

Enemy tank, cool, I like that.  {8^D  

Just this evening, I was trying to find the Palace of Fine Arts in San
Francisco.  I thought I was close, but I was lost.  I saw a street called
Broderick, stopped to take a picture for my own friend and your namesake.
Broke down and suffered the excruciating humiliation of asking directions.
The guy told me I should leave my car where it was and walk the rest of the
way, a couple blocks.  Found it, loved the show.

Afterwards, coming back at about 1030 PM, I was in the city in a
neighborhood I didn't know, at night.  I breathed a long sigh of relief when
I could slam the door on my Detroit, lock it and reach for Sir Remington,
just to know it is there.  I guess that would be my turret in your apt
analogy.  That was another case where the statistics are not clear, but it
sure felt safer.


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