Great article from the NY Times: Keeping Kids Safe From the Wrong Dangers, which discusses how people buy organic vegetables to reduce their risk of serious or fatal chronic disease, yet while driving home from shopping trips they check email on their cell phone at red lights. The perception of risk is a little whacked.
More evidence of misperception of biggest risks shared in the article: The five things most likely to cause injury up until age 18, according to the CDC, are car crashes, homicide (usually not by a stranger), child abuse, suicide and drowning. But the five things parents worry about most are kidnapping, school snipers, terrorists, dangerous strangers and drugs, according to the Mayo Clinic.
We tend to overestimate the rare dangers — encouraged somewhat by what the media deems newsworthy — and we underestimate the dangers we should be thinking about.
Did you know:
- Car crashes are the #1 cause of death from age 3 to 34.
- They’re the #1 cause of workplace death.
- Most car crashes occur within a few miles of home.
So why do we worry about terrorists more than car crashes? The book Innumeracy by John Allan Paulos is an easy and enjoyable explanation of one reason why.