“In general, the efficient level of safety will not be perfect safety, because perfection is simply too costly to achieve” (pg. 16) Is flying really just too costly? What about too time consuming? Too inconvenient? Too…dumb? Some people may think so. Others are more worried about themselves; that entitles their time and things of that sort. Fatalities are 200 times higher for automobiles than for airlines, but people would rather ride in automobile because it’s…”easier”? In the US, each year there are about 40,000 deaths per year in automobile accidents vs. bout 200 in air transport. To put this in perspective, the chance of dying in an automobile accident is about 1000 times more than winning a typical state lottery in a year. The statistics are based upon the number of airplane crashes as a percent, in other words more people die as a result of automobile crashes per year as opposed to dying by an airplane crash. The survival rate is much lower for an airplane crash but airplanes don’t crash as much as cars. So, why would people rather drive than fly? One word: scarcity. There is a scarcity of time, money, patience, many things.
People are selfish and choose the more dangerous root because it is easier for them, more convenient. Yes, people want to be safe, but that is not their biggest concern. People are more concerned with getting to the grocery store in 10 minutes or saving money for going out to dinner that night. Of course no one wants to spend over $100 for a plane ticket but would you spent $100 to save your life? With gas prices increasing, it keeps making more and more sense to choose riding planes rather than automobiles, but no. I guess the cool thing to do these days is drive.
When debating over automobiles and planes, some things to look at are the opportunity costs and benefits involved. An opportunity cost of driving is obviously increasing your likelihood of getting injured. However, a benefit would be the obvious, saving time, money, patience, etc. With these costs and benefits, it would only be smart to choose riding a plane, but automobiles seem to be the winner. As stated in the article Flying The Friendly Skies? , “We must be willing to accept some risk”. Isn’t risk appealing to some people?
Maybe some people would rather drive because it’s invigorating, maybe exciting? You pay $50 for a tank of gas and your car is just sitting there. Or you could drive to the airport and pay over $100 for a ticket. Why not drive when you already paid for that gas previously? I mean, you might as well since that gas is just sitting there, you have to use it sometime, might as well use it now. That gas would be considered a sunk cost. You can’t get that money back so why waste even more money on a plane ticket when that drive would, technically, be free?
People always look at the short-term affects when debating whether to drive an automobile or ride a plane. No one ever weighs the pro and cons because they think driving is much easier, at the time. They are willing to take the chance of getting into an accident rather then pay some money and waste a little time to, ideally, save their lives. However, safe ride or no ride, people choose different roots depending on travel length, personal choose, etc. If someone were to be thinking strictly about their safety, I just wonder which one they would choose.