Thursday, May 18, 2017

Risk of death in several activities

All of us will die for some reasons. It is an absolute fact. But, it is not sure what will kill you.

Most people in developed countries are killed by some disease. Malignant neoplasm is one of the main causes of death. In some countries, especially with a lower standard of medicines, infectious diseases are more dominant as a reason of death.

In contrast, there are relatively a few people die in an accident. Do you know someone around you who were killed in a car accident? Or, you may be afraid of the crash of an airplane. In real, it is not realistic to be concerned about such immature death. Statistics shows there is merely one per a million risk of fatality within 40,000 km of the aero trip. The probability an airplane takes your life is less than a marathon.

The Conversation: What’s most likely to kill you? Measuring how deadly our daily activities are

This kind of comparison attracts public attention. But it is because most people cannot estimate the risk of each activity precisely. We are fearful to be attacked by a shark. In real, however, kangaroo is dangerous as same as a shark.

We have cognitive biases. An apparent danger brings a fearful emotion to our mind. Then, we tend to overestimate the likelihood of the incident. An impressive episode also draws our emotional reaction. As a result, we are prepared excessively to a rare undesirable event. The enhanced security checking in the US after the 9.11 terror attack is a good example.

Our fear has protected us from several terrors in nature. But, it is not rational to rely on our instinct in considering the risk control. Precise estimation and deliberate discussion are needed in managing the risks.

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