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  #1  
Old 08-01-2010, 09:56 AM
SyuRi SyuRi is offline
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Most Dangerous Means of Transportation?

What is the most dangerous means of transportation that is, if you travel by it, you have the highest chance of dying?
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2010, 09:57 AM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Are you talking about 'normal*' modes of transportation? If so, I'd guess driving.

*As opposed to say, highwire walking or homemade aircraft.
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2010, 10:15 AM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Are you talking about 'normal*' modes of transportation? If so, I'd guess driving.

*As opposed to say, highwire walking or homemade aircraft.
Motorcycles are a lot more dangerous than cars and I would consider them normal transportation. This question can get tricky the way it is phased. There are two main ways to do a comparison. One is a per trip comparison. The other is a per passenger mile comparison. The latter is usually considered more relevant making airliner travel the safest and motorcycles the least safe.

"The odds of being killed during a scheduled airline flight are about one per million -- nearly four times greater than the odds of being killed in an automobile ride. But most car trips are for far fewer miles. Per passenger mile an automobile ride is 10 times more likely to result in fatality than an airplane journey. (Airplane fatalities occur most frequently during takeoff & landing -- especially takeoff.) Buses are safer -- per passenger mile an automobile is 25 times more likely to lead to death than a bus. Conversely, motorcycles are 35 times per passenger mile more likely to cause death than automobiles. Boat travel is hard to compare per passenger mile, but the risk of death during a boat trip is far more dangerous than one in a car. Most boating deaths are due to drowning -- with 80% of those dying not wearing life jackets."

http://www.benbest.com/lifeext/causes.html
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2010, 10:30 AM
Snarky_Kong Snarky_Kong is offline
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This one.
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2010, 10:42 AM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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The Space Shuttle has averaged about one catastrophic loss per hundred flights. I wonder what the disclaimer the crews have to sign looks like.
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:20 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Put a saddle on the rider in this photo, and ride in that!
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  #7  
Old 08-01-2010, 01:25 PM
cornflakes cornflakes is online now
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The Space Shuttle has averaged about one catastrophic loss per hundred flights. I wonder what the disclaimer the crews have to sign looks like.
Seconded. Space travel is the most dangerous occupation, and I'm pretty sure that the Space Shuttles have the worst safety record per mission of all platforms.
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  #8  
Old 08-01-2010, 01:35 PM
Duckster Duckster is online now
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Walking.

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On December 2, 2004, the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) made available Mean Streets 2004, a study that concluded that walking remains our most dangerous mode of transportation. Further, it finds that several areas of the country are getting even more dangerous. The Washington based policy advocacy group has been issuing status reports of trends in pedestrian safety for almost a decade. This most recent report is a mix of older findings with new research.

Mean Streets’ findings include four significant facts. First, walking is by far the most dangerous mode of travel per mile. The fatality rate, using 2001 data, per 100 million miles travel was 20.1. By contrast, passenger cars and trucks rate was only 1.3. Transit is the safest at 0.75 per 100 million miles. Second, in 2003, 4,827 Americans (11.3 percent of all traffic fatalities) died while walking down the street, and 70,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes. Over the ten-year period 1994-2003, 51,989 pedestrians have died on U.S. streets. Third, senior citizens, African-American and Latino pedestrians suffer a fatality rate well in excess of the population at large. Fourth, more than half of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas grew more dangerous.
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2010, 01:46 PM
ChrisBooth12 ChrisBooth12 is offline
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I would say elevator is the safest..Walking is the most dangerous? I do not think that it is fair considering it takes you about what 9 or so minutes to walk a mile how many cars pass you in that time? It also depends on the street. I think it is like comparing apples on oranges. I mean we could make up all sorts of dangerous acts such as this one

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/985...23reckless.png

But space travel has got to be the most dangerous per trip, probably not per mile

Is this per trip or per mile?
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  #10  
Old 08-01-2010, 02:21 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Seconded. Space travel is the most dangerous occupation, and I'm pretty sure that the Space Shuttles have the worst safety record per mission of all platforms.
Very few manned space platforms have flown enough flights to get meaningful statistics: I think you're pretty much limited to the Shuttle and Soyez for that, and the Soyez has been continually incrementally upgraded, to the point where it's hard to call it one platform.

On the other hand, the Shuttle will go clear around the Earth hundreds of times per mission, so the fatality rate per mile would be excellent.
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  #11  
Old 08-01-2010, 02:53 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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But on a passenger mileage basis, I suspect that the Space Shuttle isn't that dangerous. Although like airplanes, most of the problems occurred during takeoffs and landings.
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2010, 03:26 PM
robcaro robcaro is offline
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Here in Colombia, motorcycles have the biggest fatal accident rates of all modes of transport.
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2010, 03:35 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Traveling with your cat and not putting it in a carrier
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2010, 04:17 PM
JoelUpchurch JoelUpchurch is offline
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Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
Walking.

Quote:
On December 2, 2004, the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) made available Mean Streets 2004, a study that concluded that walking remains our most dangerous mode of transportation. Further, it finds that several areas of the country are getting even more dangerous. The Washington based policy advocacy group has been issuing status reports of trends in pedestrian safety for almost a decade. This most recent report is a mix of older findings with new research.

Mean Streets’ findings include four significant facts. First, walking is by far the most dangerous mode of travel per mile. The fatality rate, using 2001 data, per 100 million miles travel was 20.1. By contrast, passenger cars and trucks rate was only 1.3. Transit is the safest at 0.75 per 100 million miles. Second, in 2003, 4,827 Americans (11.3 percent of all traffic fatalities) died while walking down the street, and 70,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes. Over the ten-year period 1994-2003, 51,989 pedestrians have died on U.S. streets. Third, senior citizens, African-American and Latino pedestrians suffer a fatality rate well in excess of the population at large. Fourth, more than half of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas grew more dangerous.
Actually motorcycle are more dangerous. The 2007 numbers are 38 fatalities per 100 million miles in 2007.

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pubs/811159.pdf

As near as I can tell, if you subtract out fatalities for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, the fatality rate for people riding inside a car or truck is very safe. Less than 1 per 100 million miles. For the people outside the car or truck, not so much.
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  #15  
Old 08-01-2010, 04:23 PM
Al Bundy Al Bundy is offline
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Based on my personal anecdotal experience, it has been the bike. I've had a dozen surgeries and thousands of out of pocket dollars to justify my reasoning. But I still bike almost every day.
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  #16  
Old 08-01-2010, 07:57 PM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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Originally Posted by ChrisBooth12 View Post
I would say elevator is the safest..
I was going to suggest a falling elevator as the most dangerous. Ever see the Mythbusters falling elevator episode? That thing went down in an awful damned hurry.
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  #17  
Old 08-01-2010, 08:08 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
Walking.

Quote:
On December 2, 2004, the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) made available Mean Streets 2004, a study that concluded that walking remains our most dangerous mode of transportation. Further, it finds that several areas of the country are getting even more dangerous. The Washington based policy advocacy group has been issuing status reports of trends in pedestrian safety for almost a decade. This most recent report is a mix of older findings with new research.

Mean Streets’ findings include four significant facts. First, walking is by far the most dangerous mode of travel per mile. The fatality rate, using 2001 data, per 100 million miles travel was 20.1. By contrast, passenger cars and trucks rate was only 1.3. Transit is the safest at 0.75 per 100 million miles. Second, in 2003, 4,827 Americans (11.3 percent of all traffic fatalities) died while walking down the street, and 70,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes. Over the ten-year period 1994-2003, 51,989 pedestrians have died on U.S. streets. Third, senior citizens, African-American and Latino pedestrians suffer a fatality rate well in excess of the population at large. Fourth, more than half of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas grew more dangerous.
I'm curious to see whether this holds up outside the US. Especially in countries that offer better facilities for pedestrians (like, all of them ).
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  #18  
Old 08-01-2010, 08:47 PM
ChrisBooth12 ChrisBooth12 is offline
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Originally Posted by BrotherCadfael View Post
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Originally Posted by ChrisBooth12 View Post
I would say elevator is the safest..
I was going to suggest a falling elevator as the most dangerous. Ever see the Mythbusters falling elevator episode? That thing went down in an awful damned hurry.
But did you see what they had to do to get it to fall? Elevators have more redundancy than a lot of military shit. Elevators have what like 6 cables holding them up needing only 1. They have brakes that will stop you from falling and other brakes that kick in and lock in place is the main brakes fail.

Mile for mile the shuttle is probably one of the safeset, but the worst if you factor in per trip.
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  #19  
Old 08-01-2010, 09:30 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Although, come to think of it, most of the miles the Shuttle travels aren't really "traveling", in the sense of going from a starting place to a destination. The Shuttle's destination is just low earth orbit, which is only a few hundred miles, tops, from its starting point. So by that measure, it's again one of the most dangerous, and might even beat motorcycles.
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  #20  
Old 08-01-2010, 10:36 PM
snailboy snailboy is offline
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Originally Posted by BrotherCadfael View Post
Quote:
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I would say elevator is the safest..
I was going to suggest a falling elevator as the most dangerous. Ever see the Mythbusters falling elevator episode? That thing went down in an awful damned hurry.
I'd rather be on a falling elevator than an exploding space shuttle, not that the question asked which transportation is most dangerous when it fails.
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  #21  
Old 08-01-2010, 10:40 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Yeah, if what you took away from Mythbusters is that elevators are dangerous then you didn't pay enough attention to the episode. It was a giant pain in the ass for them to get an elevator to fall at all in the first place.
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  #22  
Old 08-01-2010, 10:57 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Matter of fact, a Space Shuttle on a normal, routine landing bears an uncanny resemblance to an elevator going through an absolute worst-case scenario. The way it lands is a lot closer to what most folks would call "falling" than "gliding".
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  #23  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:04 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Eh? The Shuttle lands at about 250 mph; faster, but not greatly so, than an airliner.
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  #24  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:18 AM
ChrisBooth12 ChrisBooth12 is offline
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The space shuttle orbits the earth and thus does move through space I do not think the vertical trip up there should only be counted. I mean that thing goes through the worse climate, ive seen pictures of little meteorites hitting the windshield and it having a big ass crack in it.

The safest is probably the presidential motorcade, or more likely Air Force One although the Pope mobile I think statistically is safer. Nothing says I trust you god like 4 inches of bullet proof glass.

Last edited by ChrisBooth12; 08-02-2010 at 12:20 AM..
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  #25  
Old 08-02-2010, 04:31 AM
Alka Seltzer Alka Seltzer is offline
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Eh? The Shuttle lands at about 250 mph; faster, but not greatly so, than an airliner.
The space shuttle has a terrible glide ratio, much worse than an airliner. I can't find the figures now, but that is what Chronos is referring to.

I'd say the space shuttle is probably the most dangerous form of tansport per trip. By distance covered, climbing is probably the most dangerous mode (not form) of transport. Travelling by motorbike is much more dangerous than travelling by car, but I believe quad bikes are even more dangerous.
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  #26  
Old 08-02-2010, 08:30 AM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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Yeah, if what you took away from Mythbusters is that elevators are dangerous then you didn't pay enough attention to the episode. It was a giant pain in the ass for them to get an elevator to fall at all in the first place.
I did not say that elevators are the most dangerous means of transportation... but that falling elevators were.
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  #27  
Old 08-02-2010, 08:36 AM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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having a big ass crack in it.
I didn't know the shuttle went to Uranus ::::rimshot::::
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  #28  
Old 08-02-2010, 09:54 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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You know, having thought about it a bit more, I think it's clear that surfing is the most dangerous form of transportation.
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  #29  
Old 08-02-2010, 10:35 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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The space shuttle has a terrible glide ratio, much worse than an airliner. I can't find the figures now, but that is what Chronos is referring to.
It's pretty close to 1:1, but that doesn't tell the whole story, either. Basically, it spends most of the re-entry falling, to build up airspeed, then uses that airspeed to swoop closer to horizontal right at the very end so it can land.

Last edited by Chronos; 08-02-2010 at 10:35 AM..
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  #30  
Old 08-02-2010, 11:48 AM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is offline
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I'd have to say the H.L. Hunley submarine was the most dangerous form of transportation. It killed most of one crew and all of another during training and killed a third crew when it went on its first mission.

That's close to a 300 percent mortality rate. Or, in other words, it's roughly 3 times more dangerous than flying in a kamikaze plane.
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  #31  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:00 PM
yanceylebeef yanceylebeef is offline
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From personal experience, I'd say it's a 1964 Vespa GL. I've been rirding it for about ten years now, and have been pulled out in front of, merged into more and plainly not been seen by more people than any other mode of transport I've used.

That includes motorcycles, bicycles and cars.
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  #32  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:17 PM
Heracles Heracles is offline
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Although, come to think of it, most of the miles the Shuttle travels aren't really "traveling", in the sense of going from a starting place to a destination. The Shuttle's destination is just low earth orbit, which is only a few hundred miles, tops, from its starting point. So by that measure, it's again one of the most dangerous, and might even beat motorcycles.
Actually, the destination is the landing strip. Which in most cases is at KSC, only a few km from the launch pad....

(This reasoning would also make the shuttle one of the slowest modes of transportation, because it usually takes 2 weeks to cross that small distance from launch pad to runway.)
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  #33  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:19 PM
Heracles Heracles is offline
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Of course, jumping off a bridge is a form of transportation too, involving small distances but with high mortality rates.

In the same vein, those kamikaze planes and submarines from WW2...

H.
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  #34  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:49 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Actually, the destination is the landing strip. Which in most cases is at KSC, only a few km from the launch pad....
That's like the old joke:
Jokester: I'd like a round-trip ticket
Travel agent: Where to?
Jokester: Back here, of course.

Most modes of transportation will eventually take you back to somewhere near your starting point, but there's usually some destination in between. You don't take the Shuttle because you want to get from the launchpad to the runway; you take it because you want to get to low Earth orbit.
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  #35  
Old 08-02-2010, 01:09 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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From personal experience, I'd say it's a 1964 Vespa GL. I've been rirding it for about ten years now, and have been pulled out in front of, merged into more and plainly not been seen by more people than any other mode of transport I've used.
Proof that the Italians perfected cloaking technology in the early 1960s.
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  #36  
Old 08-02-2010, 01:40 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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From personal experience, I'd say it's a 1964 Vespa GL. I've been rirding it for about ten years now, and have been pulled out in front of, merged into more and plainly not been seen by more people than any other mode of transport I've used.
Proof that the Italians perfected cloaking technology in the early 1960s.
Nah, it was one of the jokes the Illuminati periodically play, painting "fnord" all over some mass-produced item and watching hilarity ensue.
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  #37  
Old 08-02-2010, 02:30 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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How does painting all over something ensure hilarity? Aren't most things painted all over?
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  #38  
Old 08-02-2010, 03:04 PM
ajdebosco ajdebosco is offline
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Depends on where you are

In the US, it seems it is anything on two wheels, wherever there are four wheeled vehicles on the same stretch of road. I've been dusted up more than once by trucks, busses, cars, etc. when I've been on a bicycle, scooter, moped and motorcycle. The other drivers just don't look, or don't care.

When I travelled to Cote D'Ivoire, pedestrians were being run down at an alarming rate. Before I arrived I was concerned about HIV, dengue and yellow fevers, but my contact there said there were a plethora of wreckless drivers, and when coupled with newcomers to the cities fresh out of the sticks, the death rate from getting plowed over by a bus, lorry, or car was of epidemic proportions. I've heard things are quite similar in China these days, too.

Last edited by ajdebosco; 08-02-2010 at 03:05 PM..
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  #39  
Old 08-02-2010, 03:12 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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How does painting all over something ensure hilarity? Aren't most things painted all over?
That took me a minute to get.
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  #40  
Old 08-02-2010, 03:27 PM
Shmendrik Shmendrik is online now
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I'm curious to see whether this holds up outside the US. Especially in countries that offer better facilities for pedestrians (like, all of them ).
Do you have any evidence for that claim?
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  #41  
Old 08-02-2010, 04:04 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
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Is this per trip or per mile?
Excellent point. I vote that we remand this to the OP for resubmitting.
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  #42  
Old 08-02-2010, 04:23 PM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is offline
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...there were a plethora of wreckless drivers...
I don't mind the wreckless drivers -- it's the reckless ones you have to worry about.
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  #43  
Old 08-02-2010, 05:18 PM
snailboy snailboy is offline
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Yeah, if what you took away from Mythbusters is that elevators are dangerous then you didn't pay enough attention to the episode. It was a giant pain in the ass for them to get an elevator to fall at all in the first place.
I did not say that elevators are the most dangerous means of transportation... but that falling elevators were.
I didn't know falling elevators were a mode of transportation. I don't spend much time in the big city though. The falling ones are labelled as such, right?
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  #44  
Old 08-02-2010, 06:13 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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I didn't know falling elevators were a mode of transportation. I don't spend much time in the big city though. The falling ones are labelled as such, right?
Heh. Just what I thought reading that. I'd say a submarine sinking in the deep ocean or a zeppelin engulfed in fire are marginally more dangerous than a falling elevator.
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  #45  
Old 08-02-2010, 07:22 PM
HawksPath HawksPath is offline
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Does anyone know how personal aircraft such as the Cessna fall on the danger scale?
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:48 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Does anyone know how personal aircraft such as the Cessna fall on the danger scale?
It is surprisingly difficult coming up with a way to analyze that in a way that will satisfy people. The most general answer you can give is that single-engine small planes are more deadly than personal cars on a per mile basis but much safer than motorcycles. That varies a lot by the plane and the level of risk the pilot is willing to assume. The sheer number of private planes out there that are many decades old and still in active service is a comforting thought however.
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  #47  
Old 08-02-2010, 07:56 PM
rowrrbazzle rowrrbazzle is offline
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This cable transport across a 900-foot-deep gorge in Guayabetal, Colombia is a candidate. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/3997647.html

I saw some program that included a segment on this. One of the dangers not mentioned in the article is a woman getting her long hair caught in the pulley.
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  #48  
Old 08-02-2010, 07:57 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Balloons don't have the best record in the world. My w.a.g. would be because any loss of lift is self-accelerating- sinking into denser air compresses the balloon and cuts lift even more.
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  #49  
Old 08-02-2010, 08:01 PM
Ionizer Ionizer is offline
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The space shuttle has a terrible glide ratio, much worse than an airliner. I can't find the figures now, but that is what Chronos is referring to.
It's pretty close to 1:1, but that doesn't tell the whole story, either. Basically, it spends most of the re-entry falling, to build up airspeed, then uses that airspeed to swoop closer to horizontal right at the very end so it can land.
falling to build up airspeed? Huh? I am pretty certain this is not quite right as the speed must be *reduced*, drastically, (from orbital speed/energy) to land at ~minimal speed to keep brake damage minimal, on first try as well (no go-round with this). I am fairly confident that at no time does the Orbiter need to *gain* airspeed in a normal approach/landing (unless there is something unplanned of origin, like bad met data which almost caused one Orbiter to eat dirt, now an infamous Wayne Hale story). Its usually more of a concern to lose just-enough energy (and not a drop more!) initially and not overshoot too far than to have to gain energy/airspeed with no effective/efficient way to turn it into distance and so land short (if that makes sense).

Is the Space Transportation System considered safe if it is not man-rated? Does it not require special 'permission' (waivers, per se) to even have any person ride it uphill? Often many, many waivers, iirc, but I am not fully understanding of the 'waiver' things. But Shuttle is 'safe'? Is time spent with 'engines running' (particularly those towering solids!) a significant part of the equation-of-safety? Just checking...
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  #50  
Old 08-02-2010, 09:34 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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The single deadliest form of transportation on a per-capita basis is this
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