Saturday, July 11, 2009

Economics of Child Safety

Child safety laws in cars are so extreme that most parents don't even follow them. For example, in my state of North Carolina, a child must be in a restraint device until they are older than 8 years old and over 80 lbs. And yet, parents are allowed to fly in planes while holding their children. In response to this very question, the FAA stated that:
the cost of an extra ticket could force parents to travel by car instead. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children. On the other hand, the problem of child safety in air travel, the F.A.A. said, 'barely exists.'
This is a good example of how hard it is for people to assess risk. As this graphic explains (thanks Justin) you actually have a better chance of dying on a bicycle than in a plane.

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