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?

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.”

This one.

The Space Shuttle has averaged about one catastrophic loss per hundred flights. I wonder what the disclaimer the crews have to sign looks like.

Put a saddle on the rider in this photo, and ride in that!

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.


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

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

Is this per trip or per mile?

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.

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.

Here in Colombia, motorcycles have the biggest fatal accident rates of all modes of transport.

Traveling with your cat and not putting it in a carrier :slight_smile:

Actually motorcycle are more dangerous. The 2007 numbers are 38 fatalities per 100 million miles in 2007.

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.

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.

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’m curious to see whether this holds up outside the US. Especially in countries that offer better facilities for pedestrians (like, all of them :D).

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.

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.

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.