Zara’s Space on the Web – Musings

January 5, 2010

Risky transport

Filed under: Uncategorized — zarazilla @ 10:09 am

Here’s some food for thought.  I came across this while searching for the value of statistical life.

“Taking figures from the publication Transport Statistics Great Britain (DfT, 2004) based on the 1993-2002 average figures, the chances of death in Great Britain per billion passenger kilometres are as follows:

Air 0.0
Water 0.3
Bus or coach 0.4
Rail 0.4
Van 1.0
Car 3.0
Pedal cycle 41
Pedestrian 54
Two wheeled motor vehicle 113″
http://www.dft.gov.uk/adobepdf/187604/206711/206721/214186/pacts
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4 Comments »

  1. Good thing I like to live dangerously…

    But I’m not sure what those numbers mean. Do I divide by a billion to get the chance of dying when traveling one kilometre?

    Comment by Frank — January 5, 2010 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

    • For every billion kilometres you walk you can expect to die 54 times? :)

      Comment by zarazilla — January 7, 2010 @ 11:56 pm | Reply

  2. It would be interesting to see what it is like post-2002 when low-cost happened and more people started travelling by air.
    I’m also not sure what “chances per billion passenger kilometres” mean, because some of these figures are so low mainly as that means of transport is not used for everyday movements (not everybody lives in big cities where public transport, despite Boris, is reliable and more or less efficient…).
    I also think that in transport policy it is important to differentiate what deaths are caused by that means of transport and what aren’t, because that (shockingly high) figure for pedestrian deaths shows that they are not protected enough by laws regulating motored traffic. Unless the pedestrians were drunk – another area which if better regulated would probably lower the highest figures on these tables as well as crime figures :)

    Comment by Eleonora — January 6, 2010 @ 1:52 am | Reply

    • I think travelling by air is so safe anyway it hasn’t really made a blip in the radar.

      The pedestrian issue is interesting – I reckon it’s because you go so slowly that you spend more time on the roads and hence have a bigger chance of something happening to you. I mean kilometres by walking and kilometres by any other means of transport really aren’t comparable if you think about it… I’m pretty sure all the walking I did around London in 2009 (and I did A LOT) was less than the distance I covered on my 5 hour train journey from London to Edinburgh.

      Comment by zarazilla — January 7, 2010 @ 11:54 pm | Reply


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