In the US, 583 billion passenger-miles were flown in 2008, the most recent year available (I think I can mix numbers from ’08 and ’09 without loss of generality). So if all that travel was done by car instead (obviously not feasible) with a fatality rate of 11.35 deaths per billion miles, we’d expect an increase of 6,617 deaths. In other words, terrorists would have to blow up 16 full 747′s a year (about one every three weeks) to make air travel as dangerous as car travel. I think that number gets at the point you were trying to make about the exaggerated scale of the threat of aviation terrorism.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Terrorists vs. Car Accidents
One of Matt Yglesias' readers looked up the statistics: