Most of the news sites that I visited this morning were going apeshit over the missing plane. If we are being honest, this is news precisely because it doesn’t happen a lot. Meanwhile, last year 32,719 died in road accidents. The year before 33,782 people died on our roads. The amount of people that were injured on our roads in those respective years were roughly 2.3 million (2013) and 2.4 million (2012). These are just the totals in the United States. (These numbers were gotten from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.)
I know far more people that are afraid of flying than driving. Yet if you view the two side-by-side statistically it makes no sense. Meanwhile, the news coverage is equally senseless. I’m sure they will be spending hours and hours covering something that, while sad for the people who lost loved ones, comparatively to other issues, has no bearing upon our day to day lives.
Ebola, disappearing airlines, terrorist attacks, all have one thing in common: You add them all up together and they don’t come even remotely close to other ways that people die prematurely. They are just sensational and therefor gather larger coverage in the news. This is why our democracy often fails to work. Threats are distorted out of all proportion and people focus on things that bear no relation to their lives, while at the same time ignoring things that do.
P.S. Order! We must submit the following statement to the official record: It’s sad to say, but my initial reaction on seeing that another plane had disappeared was, “Jesus fucking Christ, we’re going to be hearing about that goddamn plane for months!”