I’ve just had a great conversation, this evening, with a pilot who was at the next table to mine at dinner.
Our initial topic came from him and was about the safety comparison between air travel and driving, so I asked whether he was aware that for every person killed in commercial flights worldwide, each year, over 2,160 people are killed in road crashes. Yes, a ratio of more than 2,000-to-1, and even the number of people killed annually just on America’s roads is over 60-times greater than the total number of plane-crash fatalities worldwide.
Eight European countries are now requiring drivers to create a “safety corridor” to allow emergency vehicles swift access to trapped and injured people at crash scenes on congested roads. This methodology could be a life-saver here in the USA, too.
According to ABC News, animal cruelty is now a federal felony.We have no problem with this scenario whatsoever, except to ask that if animal cruelty warrants classification as a federal felony, why are people who drive drunk, drugged, distracted or plain dangerously, and kill someone as a result, not treated in the same ‘federal felony’ manner?
What is this if not an astonishing and frankly inexplicable imbalance of priorities?
Even on the fringes of road safety, most people now understand that we should use the word ‘crashes’, not accidents, but there are many other important topics where there is still confusion and inaccuracy. This includes the proportion of crashes that are — quote — ’caused’ by driver error, or less accurately, human error.