Imagine that you go to the airport. On the televisions, you see the news that three commercial airliners have already crashed in the United States that week. The experts on TV note that one or two more should crash before the week ends.
Would you still get on your plane? Probably not. You'd be appalled. You'd be scared. You wouldn't fly again until the authorities stopped the accidents.
That sounds obvious, but here's the reality: So many people die in car accidents every week that it's the same as if four or five planes went down. That happens every week, all year long. It happens year after year. And yet you still drive.
"If that many airplanes were crashing every week, it would not be acceptable to people. Unfortunately, we've come to view traffic death as the cost of doing business," said one transportation expert. "But it doesn't have to be."
One potential reason that people do not worry about car accidents, despite the daunting statistics, is that they happen one at a time. One person dies in Ohio. Two more die in Michigan. Another one dies in Indiana. Three more lose their lives in Columbus. If one of those crashes personally impacts you, you notice, but you really don't otherwise. It's easy to overlook how the statistics add up throughout the day and the week, so people don't grasp the true risk the way they do when a plane crashes.
Unfortunately, this likely means that the risks won't drop any time soon. If you lose a loved one or suffer serious injuries in an accident, you may be able to seek financial compensation.