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“Decision-Making Is Defensive”

A tweet alerted me to this 2011 Guardian article, September 11’s indirect toll: road deaths linked to fearful flyers.

A German professor, Gerd Gigerenzer, estimated there were almost 1,600 more road fatalities in the year after 9/11 until flight frequency returned to normal.

Rothschild calculated the risk of a traveller who took four flights every month dying as a result of terror attacks. If hijackers managed to destroy one plane a month, he argued, this frequent traveller had a one in 540,000 chance of being killed. At one plane a year, the risk was less than one in 6,000,000.

In contrast, the risk of being killed in a US car accident in any given year is one in 7,000, dying of cancer one in 600 and dying of heart disease one in 400.

–James Ball writing in the Guardian

I had not thought of this outcome at the time — maybe few did, this was part of a 10th anniversary of 9/11 issue of the paper.

The converse might hold true as well however. With more people worried about the Coronavirus, perhaps regular influenza deaths will precipitously decline. There sure is greater compliance with wiping down machines at the gym these days.

Published inMiscPolitics

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