2010 September 01 Wednesday
Air Safety Differences In Less Developed Countries

Want to live a long long time and get rejuvenation therapies? First avoid dying in an air accident in a less developed country.

HANOVER, MD, September 1, 2010 Ė Passengers who fly in Developing World countries face 13 times the risk of being killed in an air accident as passengers in the First World. The more economically advanced countries in the Developing World have better overall safety records than the others, but even their death risk per flight is seven times as high as that in First World countries.

These results come from research by Arnold Barnett, a prof at MITís Sloan School of Management. Click thru and read the details if you plan to fly outside the most developed countries.

What is surprising: even countries like Brazil and Taiwan have only Developing World levels of safety, not the much better safety records of the most developed countries. So if you plan on flying to developing countries take First World airlines.

By Randall Parker    2010 September 01 05:20 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2009 August 19 Wednesday
Second Biggest Accidental Death Cause After Cars?

Want to guess? At least in the United States the second biggest unintentional injury killer (leaving aside murders and suicides) killer? Beware poisons.

  • In 2005, 23,618 (72%) of the 32,691 poisoning deaths in the United States were unintentional, and 3,240 (10%) were of undetermined intent (CDC 2008). Unintentional poisoning death rates have been rising steadily since 1992.
  • Unintentional poisoning was second only to motor vehicle crashes as a cause of unintentional injury death in 2005 (CDC 2008). Among people 35 to 54 years old, unintentional poisoning caused more deaths than motor vehicle crashes.

Yet car accident deaths down to only 34k per year aren't all that much higher than the 23k unintentional poison deaths.

But these killer poisons are mostly not arsenic or other compounds that are purely toxic without redeeming value. What kills us are compounds we use to reduce suffering. Beware your pain killer drugs.

  • In 2004, 95% of unintentional and undetermined poisoning deaths were caused by drugs (WONDER 2007). Opioid pain medications were most commonly involved, followed by cocaine and heroin (Paulozzi et al. 2006).
  • Among those treated in EDs for nonfatal poisonings involving intentional, nonmedical use (such as misuse or abuse) of prescription or over-the-counter drugs in 2004, opioid pain medications and benzodiazepines were used most frequently (SAMHSA 2006).

Think about how to reduce your car accident risks. You'll win two ways because some of those people dying from pain killers were probably treating themselves for pain caused by car accident injuries.

By Randall Parker    2009 August 19 10:39 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2009 August 17 Monday
Cutting Your Driving Death Risks

Forbes has a useful article about the most dangerous times to drive. Do you wear a seat belt? Or are you trying to avoid getting old?

Nationwide, 49% of fatal crashes happen at night, with a fatality rate per mile of travel about three times as high as daytime hours. Of people killed at night, roughly two-thirds aren't wearing restraints. During the day, the percentage of unrestrained fatalities tends to be under half.

If you are an early riser and supermarkets near you are open 24x7 that's a good safe time to go shopping.

The fewest deaths by crash in 2007, the latest year with complete data, happened early in the morning, between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Those hours see significantly less traffic--only 9% of the average amount during peak hours.

But midnite to 4 AM is the most dangerous when adjusted for the number of drivers. That's partly due to people driving drunk from bars. But I wonder how much of those deaths are due to people falling asleep behind the wheel or just not functioning optimally due to sleep deprivation.

Mid-week days like Tuesday and Wednesday also pose the lowest number of fatalities, both averaging fewer drivers and 96 and 100 deaths per day, respectively.

Snowy days as a whole are safer than non-snowy days. People driving slower and more carefully must make a difference. But the first snow day is more dangerous than the average day. But the biggest risk? Cell phones. Do not use them when driving. Do not drink and drive. Be well rested.

Most of the data is in their slide show. Check out the Most Dangerous Times To Drive slide show. How many risks do you run? Can you avoid any of them?

If you are in denial about cell phone risks read this:

The research mirrors other studies about the dangers of multitasking behind the wheel. Research shows that motorists talking on a phone are four times as likely to crash as other drivers, and are as likely to cause an accident as someone with a .08 blood alcohol content.

Texting is extremely dangerous in cars.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute used cameras to continuously observe light vehicle drivers and truckers for more than 6 million miles. It found that when drivers of heavy trucks texted, their collision risk was 23 times greater than when not texting.

Any driving texters want to admit to their behavior in the comments? How do you justify your irresponsibility?

By Randall Parker    2009 August 17 08:05 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (21)
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