Are you more scared of a six-year-old boy being shot in the head, or drowning in a pool?
Every year, in the United States, around 550 children under the age of ten die from drowning in a pool.
Every year, in the United States, only 175 children under the age of ten are killed by a gun.
Death by pool is over three times more likely than death by gun, yet, there are forty guns for every pool in the United States. Why are we so scared of a child being shot by a gun, when we don't think twice about sending a child to go play in a pool?
If you've ever experienced bad turbulence on a plane, you know that every passenger usually goes silent after a few big bumps. Turbulence can cause entire rows of people to hold hands, close their eyes, and quietly whisper prayers. You might even get a sinking feeling in your stomach yourself in these situations. Yet, while driving a car, most of us don't think twice about eating, blasting music, changing the radio station, or talking on the phone. Some of us don't think twice about driving after a beer or two.
I think you know what's coming...
Every year, about 550 people die from plane crashes, and this includes private, non-commercial accidents.
In 2011, the year of the lowest number of fatalities from traffic accidents in recent history, over 32,000 people died in the US alone from traffic accidents.
That means that even in a freak year, for every one person that died in a plane crash, sixty died in a car accident. What's the deal with humans?
Why are we so quick to worry over risks that scare us, and more-or-less apathetic over risks that kill us?
Is it because we don't understand the statistics? Is it because we feel like we aren't in control over risks that scare us? Or, is it because we are irrational as human beings?
Is there another reason the risks that kill us are so much different than the risks that scare us? What are your thoughts?