Cable news is full of coverage of the Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco Airport right now. And it makes sense—a large plane crashing is news. At the same time, it's worth reiterating that plane crashes are news because they're so amazingly rare. On a per passenger mile basis, you're over seventy times likelier to die driving a car.
Yet even though car wrecks (and cars running down bicyclists or pedestrians) are a much larger social risk, they never get this kind of coverage which is a bit of a shame. To an extent planes vs cars is an apples-to-oranges comparison (you're obviously not going to drive from Seoul to San Francisco and you're not going to fly from San Francisco to Palo Alto) but there are routes where planes and cars compete directly and it's worth being clear on the fact that planes are the safe option.
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.
Why all cracker names sound alike.
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.