Judge Convinces Producers That Ground Travel is Safer Than Air Travel

America’s Hot Musician judge convinces his producers that ground travel is statistically safer than air travel as they revamp the show’s production plans.

(PRWEB) August 30, 2006 — Gregory Charles Royal, a judge on the upcoming tv show, America’s Hot Musician http://www.americashotmusician.org, convinced his producers this week to revamp the traveling show’s production plans to drive instead of fly.

Royal, who toured the world for over a decade as a trombonist with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and other productions, stopped flying in 1999 because of perceived safety concerns. Says Royal, “I was flying so much I just thought my number might be up. The margin for mechanical and human error is razor thin and it didn’t help my confidence to see pilots and flight attendants out there partying with us late nights in Europe.”

Royal was able to convince the American Youth Symphony http://americanyouthsymphony.org, which produces the television program, with statistical data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), that air travel produces a higher rate of fatalities than ground travel by over seventy fold.

America’s Hot Musician, which will travel to Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Columbus and Washington, DC as young musicians compete for a recording contract, will allot more time for the 6000 mile trek. In a time of increased safety concerns because of terrorism, more and more companies are opting for ground travel.

The Data
Based on statistics from the NTSB, about 593 fatalities occurred on US planes in 2005, resulting from about 11 million departures. That averages out to about one death for every 19 thousand plane departures

According to the FHWA, there are about 240 million motor vehicles in the United States. If you exclude the 100 million buses and trucks, leaving 140 million automobiles, and then cut that number in half to be conservative, there are at least 70 million cars in the US. (source:http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohim/hs04/htm/mv1.htm).

If you believe that at least half of the cars in the US make at least one “to and from” trip per day i.e., two departures per day, that equals to about 51 billion “departures” per year — that number being representative of only one quarter of the motor vehicles in the US.

Based on statistics from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, there were about 38 thousand automobile deaths in 2005 (source: http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/).

At that rate, only one death occurs for every 1,362,666 automobile “departures.” And that death rate would be significantly lower as again, this formula only accounts for one quarter of all motor vehicles in the United States. According to those statistics, a person is more than 70 times more likely to die in a plane crash than in an automobile.

“I always thought the conventional wisdom that air travel was statistically safer was suspect because there are tens of millions more cars than planes and people drive a lot more frequently than they fly. People drive to work, to the store and on vacations. I believe the public has a misperception about airline safety because that industry,
to its advantage, bases their numbers on the infrequency of accidents rather than the high percentage of fatalities.If I knew a mechanical or human failure was imminent, I would take my chances in an automobile any day because I have some amount of control to avoid being killed. Can you say the same about a plane?”

The show will adopt a more “road show style” and will debut on Monday, January 8, 2007 on Comcast.

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