Saturday, 24 June 2017

Micromorts: The Risk Of Dying (Part 2)

The risk of death can be measured statistically.
I've mentioned before on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog that there's actually a unit to measure the risk of dying known as the 'micromort'.

Just to recap, a micromort is a million to one chance of dying, so an activity with a 5 micromort rating would carry a five in a million chance of death.

This week I look at the micromort rating for a few more activities, starting with a comparison of how the safety of various forms of travel compare...

1) Transport

I love travelling around the world, so it's just as well that I'm not afraid of flying.  However, anyone who is afraid of flying should check out the figures below* which compare the risk of travelling 1,000 kilometres by various forms of transport...

* Please note, these figures are based on the UK, and the risk may be significantly higher in parts of the world which have a more relaxed attitude to safety.

Travelling by motorbike is statistically
more risky than travelling by plane.
Motorbike = 111 micromorts
Walking = 44 micromorts
Bicycle = 34 micromorts
Car = 2.7 micromorts
Bus/coach = 0.3 micromorts
Train = 0.3 micromorts
Passenger jet = 0.1 micromorts

So as you can see, flying is actually the safest form of transport!  Well, unless you fly by light aircraft...

Light aircraft = 41 micromorts

So if you're going to fly, taking a commercial flight is 400 times safer than flying by light aircraft!

* Light aircraft are typically used for sight-seeing flights, or by private enthusiasts.

Also, on the face of it, walking looks quite dangerous, but of course the above figures are per 1,000 kilometres, and it would take a lot longer to walk 1,000 kilometres than it would to go by a vehicle, so bear that in mind when considering the statistics.

2) Safety at work

How safe is it?
Micromorts can also be used to illustrate how safety at work is improving.  For example, in 1974, 651 people were killed at work in the UK.  By 2010 this figure had dropped to 210 people killed at work, despite the working population being far higher.

This translates as follows...

Risk of dying at work in 1974 - 29 micromorts per year
Risk of dying at work in 2010 - 5 micromorts per year

According to the statistics, if you're self-employed there's actually a slightly higher risk of dying at work...

Risk of dying at work in 2010 if you're self-employed - 6 micromorts per year

So the figures would suggest that people care more about other people's safety than their own!  Or perhaps employers are just worried about being sued!

In 2007, Britain was actually one of the safest countries in Europe to work.  The chance of dying at work by country was...

Britain - 10 micromorts per year
France - 17 micromorts per year
Germany - 19 micromorts per year
Spain - 26 micromorts per year
Poland - 35 micromorts per year
Romania - 84 micromorts per year

In 2010, the figures for US deaths at work were...

US - 28 micromorts per year

And rather disturbingly, the chance of being murdered at work for a US employee was...

US - 4 micromorts per year

Books can help you live longer!

3) Reading helps you live longer!

Finally, here are a few life expectancy statistics related to reading...

i) In a study of 3,635 people over the age of 50, people who read for up to three and a half hours per week were 17% less likely to die during the following 12 years!

ii) People who read for more than three and a half hours per week were 23% less likely to die!

iii) On average, book readers live almost two years longer than those don’t read at all!


You can find more micromort statistics in my original blog post which looks at hang-gliding, sky-diving, mountaineering, and just living in general:
Micromorts: The Risk Of Dying (Part 1)

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Micromorts will be of great interest to anyone who suffers from thanatophobia (a fear of dying), but they won't interest one of the characters from my latest short story, 'The Absence Of Fear', as the character in question lacks the medical ability to experience fear.

 Here's a very short blurb for 'The Absence Of Fear'.

"Things don't go to plan for an unfortunate mugger who attempts to rob someone who suffers from Urbach-Wiethe disease..."

Please note, despite the ominous cover, 'The Absence Of Fear' for the most part actually has quite a daft tone to it. You may have already guessed this by the author's name (Charles Fudgemuffin).

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.