Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Killer trains

In the course of defending the safety record of trains in light of the recent DC Metro fatal accident Matthew Yglesias gets carried away and states:

... On a typical day, of course, the United States has zero train-related fatalities.

This is not true because it does not take into account people hit by trains, a common omission when people talk about how safe trains are. According to this in 2008 there were 716 fatal incidents (killing 794 people) involving trains. In just one of these were passengers (24) killed. Trains are very safe for passengers. They are less safe overall.

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