OT EV Carnage

The United States is already a global outlier in traffic deaths. Unlike virtually all other developed countries, where such fatalities declined during the last decade, the U.S. has seen an increase of over 30 percent. Today, an American is more than twice as likely as a citizen of France or Canada to die in a crash.

There is another, critical contributor to the American surge in in traffic fatalities: the national penchant for tall, heavy pickup trucks and SUVs. The weight of these behemoths endangers other road users in a crash, and their height leads them to strike a person’s torso instead of their legs.

Electrified versions of SUVs and trucks can be even more dangerous. Large vehicles require massive batteries, which add tonnage. The heft of electric vehicles is not their only safety risk. Even with heavy batteries, these vehicles’ electric powertrains allow them to accelerate unusually quickly.

https://slate.com/technology/2022/08/electric-trucks-cars-to…

I hope Geico underwriters are paying attention when insuring EV SUV/trucks.

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Electrified versions of SUVs and trucks can be even more dangerous. Large vehicles require massive batteries, which add tonnage. The heft of electric vehicles is not their only safety risk. Even with heavy batteries, these vehicles’ electric powertrains allow them to accelerate unusually quickly.

https://slate.com/technology/2022/08/electric-trucks-cars-to…

I hope Geico underwriters are paying attention when insuring EV SUV/trucks.

Although the article seems to want to alarm people about EVs, the real culprit is pickups and SUVs, not EVs. Less than 1% of cars and trucks on the roads in the USA are electric anyways, and there is no evidence that EVs are any more dangerous than internal combusion engine vehicles, so the higher traffic fatality rates in the USA have nothing to do with electrification.

There are legitimate worries about EVs: their weight, their acceleration, and, the article might have added, the fact that they are quiet. But you can be pretty sure that if anyone is paying attention to the question of whether EVs are responsible for more damage, it is insurance companies like GEICO and Progressive. And what the article doesn’t mention is that there are many safety features with new vehicles (EV and non-EV) that may help a lot, notably autonomous and semi-autonomous driving with cameras and software that will be able to alert a driver to potential dangers. The threat to auto insurers is that these features might be effective enough to drastically reduce their revenues and to render useless much of their intellectual property around risk assessment.

Here’s hoping that threat materializes!

dtb

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I heard on a podcast that much (most?) of the increase is due to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Whether the vehicle hitting them is 3000 lbs or 4000 lbs probably makes little difference.
The fault could be the cr driver on a phone or the pedestrian not paying attention, jay walking, etc.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/14/us/pedestrian-deaths-pand…

Mike

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I heard on a podcast that much (most?) of the increase is due to pedestrians and bicyclists.

No, here’s the relevant statistic for the USA:

Pedestrians accounted for 17% of all traffic deaths in 2020, compared to 13% in 2010. While pedestrian deaths have risen by 54% over the past decade, all other traffic deaths have increased by 13%.

The new projection found that the 7,485 pedestrian deaths in 2021 was an increase of 12% from the previous year, resulting in 774 additional lives lost.

https://www.ghsa.org/resources/news-releases/GHSA/Ped-Spotli…

Cyclist deaths are even lower:

A total of 932 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2020. This represents a 9 percent increase from the 856 bicyclist deaths that occurred in 2019. Although bicyclist deaths have decreased 7 percent since 1975, they have increased 50 percent since reaching their lowest point in 2010.

To be complete, here’s the number for motorcyclists:

A total of 5,579 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2020. That is the highest number recorded and an 11 percent increase from 2019. Motorcycle deaths accounted for 14 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2020 and were more than double the number of motorcyclist deaths in 1997.

https://www.ghsa.org/resources/news-releases/GHSA/Ped-Spotli…

It’s amazing how dangerous motorcycling is, but most of the 38,824 traffic deaths in the USA in 2020 are still among drivers and passengers of plain old cars and trucks. Almost half of them unbelted, by the way, so if you want to protect your own life…

dtb

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Almost half of them unbelted, by the way, so if you want to protect your own life

It wouldn’t surprise me if the unbelted are also the unmasked and the unvaccinated and don’t like gummint telling them what to do.

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Almost half of them unbelted, by the way, so if you want to protect your own life
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It wouldn’t surprise me if the unbelted are also the unmasked and the unvaccinated and don’t like gummint telling them what to do.

Probably, but I also don’t like the government telling me what to do. I pick and choose. I think masks are pointless, but I get vaccinated and wear a seatbelt most of the time. I wear a helmet for mountain biking but not for road biking, same thing for downhill skiing (helmet) and cross-country skiing (no helmet).

Just because things might be good for me, I don’t necessarily want them all shoved down my throat.

dtb

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Coincidentally, today happens to be Princess Diana’s 25th death anniversary. She and two others tragically died while her bodyguard survived. All three dead weren’t wearing seatbelts. As per many accounts, the bodyguard was the only one wearing a seatbelt, though some dispute it.

Of course the accident was the fault of the fault of the driver who was intoxicated and was also on anti depressive medication. The car was being driven at high speed and chased by paparazzi, crashed into the walls of a tunnel and flipped over several times. The car was a Mercedes W140 S class limousine, one of the safest at the time.

Buckle up. There is absolutely no good reason not to.

http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/9709/21/diana.investigation/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Diana,_Princess_of_Wa…

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Just because things might be good for me, I don’t necessarily want them all shoved down my throat.

Ooh, Broccoli!

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Electrified versions of SUVs and trucks can be even more dangerous. Large vehicles require massive batteries, which add tonnage. The heft of electric vehicles is not their only safety risk. Even with heavy batteries, these vehicles’ electric powertrains allow them to accelerate unusually quickly.

This is slimy reporting.

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That article is so bad that it’s not even wrong.

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I think masks are pointless, but I get vaccinated and wear a seatbelt most of the time.

Well, not to belabour something that is extremely well known, and a flame-war hot button, but remember that the mask isn’t primarily for the benefit of the mask wearer.
After all, it can prevent at most one infection on one side of the mask, but potentially very many on the other.

It appears that the majority of the ~20 million people who have died from Covid so far caught it in a semi-airborne way from someone not wearing a mask.

Presumably a large fraction of those “someones” thought, clearly incorrectly, that masks were pointless.

Jim

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"I think masks are pointless, but I get vaccinated and wear a seatbelt most of the time.

Well, not to belabour something that is extremely well known, and a flame-war hot button, but remember that the mask isn’t primarily for the benefit of the mask wearer.
After all, it can prevent at most one infection on one side of the mask, but potentially very many on the other.

It appears that the majority of the ~20 million people who have died from Covid so far caught it in a semi-airborne way from someone not wearing a mask.

Presumably a large fraction of those “someones” thought, clearly incorrectly, that masks were pointless."

I am amazed how few people are still wearing masks.

I was recently on a flight, nobody was wearing a mask except my family.

People think Corona is over. It´s probably also Social-Proof and mindless imitating of other people: People see that nobody is wearing a mask, so they think they are safe without a mask.

I think it is an absolute No-Brainer to wear a mask.

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I am amazed how few people are still wearing masks.

I was recently on a flight, nobody was wearing a mask except my family.

There are a lot of different masks out there and some, you would probably agree are next to useless. Those pleated blue ones, for example, that leak out the top, the sides, and the bottom. Those beautiful cloth ones that are so porous you can see through them.

The only ones that might work are the N95 and KN95 ones, but only the ones with the straps that go behind your head, not the ones that go around your ears that are difficult to get a good seal. The main trouble, even if they make a tight seal all around, is that it is difficult to breathe through them, and they are too porous to stop a virus. It is like throwing marbles at a chain link fence. Most of them go through, although a few may be stopped by hitting the wires.

https://swprs.org/face-masks-and-covid-the-evidence/

So far, most studies found little to no evidence for the effectiveness of face masks in the general population, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control

https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2020/states-…

There are no longer any states requiring people generally to wear masks in public places. Several states still mandate masking for most people in certain high-risk settings, including health care and long-term care facilities.

The federal government’s nationwide mask order for public transit, commercial flights and transportation hubs such as airports and train stations was struck down by a federal judge April 18. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has stopped enforcing the mandate and major U.S. airlines made face-covering optional on domestic flights. The Department of Justice said April 20 that it will appeal the ruling.

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JeanDavid: https://swprs.org/face-masks-and-covid-the-evidence/

So far, most studies found little to no evidence for the effectiveness of face masks in the general population, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control

Whenever I am given a source that I’ve never heard of before (like this one, Swiss Policy Research), I run it through Media Bias / Fact Check. I did and here’s what I found:

CONSPIRACY-PSEUDOSCIENCE
Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudoscience category may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information; therefore, fact-checking and further investigation is recommended on a per article basis when obtaining information from these sources. See all Conspiracy-Pseudoscience sources.

Overall, we rate Swiss Policy Research (SPR) a Moderate Conspiracy website based on the promotion of unproven claims. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to poor sources and complete lack of transparency.

Then, I took a look at the first cited study on the Swiss Policy Research page and began reading “Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures,” finding this in the Face Mask section: Most studies were underpowered because of limited sample size, and some studies also reported suboptimal adherence in the face mask group.

And this seems important in the study cited: We did not consider the use of respirators in the community. Respirators are tight-fitting masks that can protect the wearer from fine particles and should provide better protection against influenza virus exposures when properly worn because of higher filtration efficiency.

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/swiss-policy-research/

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article

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I think masks are pointless, but I get vaccinated and wear a seatbelt most of the time.
===
Well, not to belabour something that is extremely well known, and a flame-war hot button, but remember that the mask isn’t primarily for the benefit of the mask wearer.
After all, it can prevent at most one infection on one side of the mask, but potentially very many on the other.

Not to throw flames, but I think that is short-term thinking. It can hardly be disputed that masks reduce both the number of droplets that you inhale and that you exhale, so it ‘protects’ you from both being infected and from infecting other people. In the short term.

But in the long term, like over a year or two, this efficacy drops to zero if you and others are going to get infected IN ANY CASE. Getting COVID after the 10th contact with another human being (because they were all being very considerate and wearing masks and preventing 90% of infections) is no better than getting it after the 1st contact (say, because that person thought masks were pointless). COVID is now a highly transmissible viral infection that cannot be prevented by vaccination and for which there is now a consensus that we are ‘learning to live with it’ and are not going back to lockdowns, curfews, mask mandates, quarantining of contacts, etc. Whether you agree with that or not, you have to live in that world, unless you move to China.

If you’re outside and it starts raining and you want to keep your clothes dry, you could hold your backpack up in the air, and you might be able to deflect 90% of the rain coming down. That might make sense if you just had to get 100m to your house. But if your house is a 30 minute walk away, you’re going to get soaked anyways, and once you’re soaked, you’re soaked. Might as well not fight it then.

dtb

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I also don’t like the government telling me what to do. I pick and choose.

I suppose there are some people who like other people telling them what to do all the time, but probably not many. That said, the Covid pandemic accomplished something beneficial for me: I’m no longer amazed by the sheer number of otherwise intelligent people who cannot grasp the basic fact that the aggregation of individually sensible decisions can result in a collectively stupid outcome. Ergo, rules.

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I am still amazed by the sheer number of otherwise intelligent people who cannot grasp the basic fact that the cherry picking of community rules personally disliked can result in the stupid outcome of poisoning the well: Ergo, the tragedy of the commons.

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