If I told people "I'm going to shoot my gun in the city from time to time - if you don't want to die please step away when I light this red laser sight" and then did exactly that and blamed people for not avoiding it - that wouldn't fly. But cars are so convenient it's allowed.
There's something special about the recklessness of deer hunters specifically, as other game seasons don't seem to have this problem.
If we're talking about people moving large distances rapidly, there's solutions that don't involve transforming our entire living habitat to death zones.
These solutions dont apply to rural or small-town environments, but do apply to cities. And it just so happens that cities, by virtue of their population density, maximize the negative externalities of cars (less open space and more people means the pollution is more concentrated and affects more people. the noise of every honk is annoying more nearby residents, etc)
In conclusion, cars aren't necessary in cities but are awful for the residents, even for those who choose to never touch a vehicle.
Disagree, for many they are a necessary evil. You can live without but you have to contort your lifestyle.
Don't get me wrong, on an individual level I strongly agree that cars are necessary for probably 90%+ of the united states for a reasonable standard of living. That's kind of the issue: we've built a spread out, suburbanized environment where the only people who can live without a car, are the people who live really close to the downtown part of the city. These people, in an ironic twist, have to breath the fumes and hear the sounds of the hundreds of thousands of cars belonging to those outside city center who drive through every day.
My argument is just that it doesn't have to be that way.
Simplified thought: the local grocery dies because everyone can easily drive 10km to the supermegamarket, which makes driving there the only choice.
It would be interesting to see how our world would have evolved without cars. There sure would be a lot missing, but also a lot of things simply done in a different way. Maybe this kind of SF already exists? Cyclepunk anyone?
If you cycle to work, you get perhaps an extra hour's phyiscal activity compared to driving, and you get some risk of being squished to death by a car. An extra hour's moderate physical activity is good for you, being squished to death is absolutely awful for you, and the story I read said one of the German health insurers did a study and found that the former effect is the bigger for most of the German population. (Or put differently, most Germans don't exercise enough.)
I'd wager that in first world countries, aviation has gotten safer since the 90s as well. The last decade has seen exactly one commercial aviation fatality in the US during the engine failure on a Southwest flight last year, while there are about ten deaths per day on average in the US for cars.
In comparison, Japan has had zero fatalities in 55 years of operation for the Shinkansen (super express trains).
It also doesn't really make sense to put regional carriers from small countries (eg. Gabon or Kyrgyzstan) in the same bucket as strictly regulated large carriers that follow the ICAO standards.
Now if I step into a plane with passengers (even if it's the same small Cessna), suddenly I'm no longer allowed to fly single pilot IFR operations without autopilot, need much higher fuel reserves, need to plan an alternate, check weather requirements and have done a 6-monthly checkflight and training. And for most airplanes I would also need a co-pilot, so there are two people monitoring everything.
Most small airplane crashes are not due to engine or equipment failure, mostly it's pilot error, and that's where all the extra procedures in commercial aviation really help.
Well maintained single engine aircraft (in the certified category) are generally reliable. The majority of incidents in these planes come down to avoidable pilot error. Looking at the forces behind pilots making mistakes will provide a lot of insight. General aviation is not forgiving to mistakes and tired, under-trained, overconfident or briefly otherwise human behavior can (and does routinely) cause issues. These factors are more carefully compensated for on the commercial side.
Of course, the counter argument here is the missing safety features that should exist to compensate for mistakes.
A lot of GA -- certainly anything under around $200k -- is a fair-weather activity. Planes can't really fly in the winter -- ice builds up on wings. Strong winds throw small airplanes around. There isn't instrumentation to land with limited visibility from fog, severe snow, or severe rain. Etc.
Weather can change unpredictably. If you've flown for a weekend getaway Friday, the weather turns over the weekend, and you have an important business meeting Monday morning, do you risk flying back? Do you miss your meetings? Do you leave your airplane there and fly back commercial, with thousands of dollars in hanger+rental fees and days of hassle to get your airplane back?
It's a value call. Different people have different risk tolerances based on personality, life situation, and culture.
A lot of this applies to cars too actually -- if everyone drove conservatively, they'd be pretty safe. At least where I live, virtually everyone speeds. People cut other cars off. Etc.
Thus it turns out if your going on a relatively short trip ~300km or less taking a bus at ~0.04 deaths per billion passenger km is safer.
Not to mention the fact that once you remove obviously dangerous car behaviors ( such as dui or driving with a wreck), chances of accident probably decline a lot.
For example, richer people fly, should we adjust for that?
I love these dim headlines
So I think it's safe to assume busses would be more likely to have accidents, but less likely to have fatalities.
I think it actually gets worse if you try to normalise the results. There is greater risk in a car journey from LAX to JKF, than there is for an air journey along the same route. However, if I tried to commute by air to work (a 2km commute), the risk per km would rocket, as take-offs and landings are the most dangerous part of each journey, so with an atypical number of take-offs per km, I'd get an atypical risk per km.
The wiki article does go on to point out the difference in usage of these statistics. per-journey does make more sense for air insurance, as the difference in risk between long-haul and short-haul isn't really significant - the take-off and landing are still the riskiest phases, there's just a larger period of boredom between them for long-haul. So 10 short flights vs 1 10x longer flight might normalise to the same hours & kms, but 10 short flights means 10 landings etc (10x the chances to miscalculate fuel, 10x the entries into & out of congested airspace, etc)
But comparing per-journey between a car and a plane is rather meaningless, as they are on average very different journeys. commuting in a car isn't two phases of high risk separated by one phase of near-immunity.
You don't fly to the supermarket, or walk to an exotic holiday location.
Distance travelled probably is a second thought compared to the concept of actually having a trip.
For example, comparing the risk of flying or taking the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka is a fair comparison. But you would probably not choose to drive that journey.
Interestingly around 50% of car accidents occur within 5 miles of the individuals home which is barely double the length of an airport runway!
Number of trips may be a better risk measure when comparing plane flights as most crashes occur on take off or landing. The actual distance traveled is probably irrelevant.
> Aviation industry insurers base their calculations on the deaths per journey statistic while the aviation industry itself generally uses the deaths per kilometre statistic in press releases.
What is more worrying is the emissions of air traffic, which is enormous.
If I remember well, a single seat in an air plane is equivalent to a single car, per unit of distance. So it's like accelerated travel, meaning if you move a person 1000 km by air, it's equivalent to riding that person 1000km with a single car. It's the same emissions per distance, except it's done between 8 and 10 times faster (not considering takeoff).
Imagine replacing a single airplane of 100 passengers with 100 cars who don't share passengers.
Which fits why we'd care about 'journeys' over anything meaningful.
But if we pretend there's something to recover here, lets look at the source
"The risks of travel Archived September 7, 2001, at the Wayback Machine. The site cites the source as an October 2000 article by Roger Ford in the magazine Modern Railways and based on a DETR survey.
Data would be at least 20 years old, from a random website allegedly from a Railways magazine allegedly from a DETR survey.
Per-trip is nonsense, since the the different modes entail completely different trip lengths and distances.
 Of course I could be wrong -- but I really don't think so