The Real Risk: Traffic Deaths
The New York Times Room for Debate blog did the topic: "Do We Tolerate Too Many Traffic Deaths?"
Posted on June 22, 2010 at 11:50 AM
Am I in the right forum? Is this the one with the professional security people?
"If people wore their seat belts, didn't speed, and didn't drive impaired most crashes could be avoided..."
Seat belts reduce injury as the crash happens, I didn't think they were intended to prevent the crash.
Impaired driving is probably an issue and should be examined and addressed based on measured facts.
However, the reporting of speed "as a factor" gives little actual evidence. It would probably cost too much to investigate every accident and determine if the speed was a cause. Easier to just note it as a factor and let people jump to conclusions.
Also, slower speed means a longer travel time. That means more exposure to the risk and more cars on the road at the same time. We would have to measure the decreased risk from reduced speed against the greated exposure.
I don't know what the right answer is. But as security people we should know that common sense doesn't always give the best risk assesment.
'That means 76% of the people who ended up dead in London last year didn't say "I'm taking a risk but driving is necessary" or "we need cars". They said "I will walk or cycle in London."'
In the same way, without data you may be missing the point. How many might say "I have the absolute right of way, I can step into the street without looking and the drivers have to watch out for me."
The system only works when both sides, drivers and pedestrians, watch out for each other and respect each others rights.
And to determine how to change the system, we need accurate data.
Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.
Schneier on Security is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Resilient, an IBM Company.