Ask A Genius 437 – Tolerance for Risk (4)
November 8, 2018
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Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Does this relationship with less willingness to die more impact men’s self-image than women’s because women tend not to be the ones doing the deadly activities as much?
Rick Rosner: Yes, there are gender differences. But the mindset that we should die for stupid reasons has become more and more part of our culture. That when you look at cars; cars have metal dashboards and no seatbelts in the 1930s.
They also went as fast then as now. There were fewer streets or freeways where you could go 80 and most cars could not. But most people probably regularly drove more than 40 miles per hour in the 30s from time to time.
If you got in a wreck driving 45 miles per hour in 1938, there is a high probability you’d be dead. You would hit the dash or fly through the front windshield, be impaled by the steering wheel, and then be crushed by the crunching of the car.
Now, cars have acquired probably more than 100 safety features. If you buy a car now, you would be surrounded by 100 airbags, have a passenger compartment not crumpling with the rest of the car, and a seatbelt plus shoulder harness.
You have computerized collision dynamics prevention. You have a self-driving doodad setup. Even though, people drive crappier now than in the 30s, probably. The risk of dying in a car wreck is – I don’t know – probably a tenth of what it was then because of the safety features.
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American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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