Driving > Flying

14May08

Someone recently mentioned hating flying.  I sorta hate flying too.  Actually, the flying itself fascinates and excites me (I didn’t actually fly until I was 18 – my family never flew anywhere).  But it makes me nervous.  Of course, flying is way safer than driving, innit?  But not for me.  Here’s my hypothesis.  This stuff makes me better than an average driver, and thus less likely to get in a horrific movie-style accident (with mushroom-shaped fireball, of course):

  • My driving skills are above average.  Probably waaay above average.  A few years of autocross and backroad asshattery have taught me the limits of my car and how to react (now fairly instinctively) when those limits are exceeded.  Like when you’re understeering, trying to turn even harder is not going to work.  No, really.  It’s not.
  • I’m attentive.  I don’t talk on my phone (okay, I don’t do it very much), I actually adjust my mirrors so I don’t have blind spots, I stay aware of everything going on around me.  Compare and contrast with all the phone-yammering lane-swerving oblivious fucktards out there.
  • I’m the one driving.  Not some other dude.  If something goes wrong, I can count on myself to react (or fail to react, but either way it’s on me).  Okay, so chances are the pilot knows his shit and can handle himself in an emergency.  But just like being in the back seat when there’s a bad driver behind the wheel, having someone else in charge of something that can potentially go wrong in so many death inducing ways is nerve wracking.

Of course, this is highly unscientific and even if there were a way to factor these in, I’m sure I’d still be statistically more likely to die in a fiery mess behind the wheel than I would in a fiery plummeting metal tube.  But that doesn’t mean flying doesn’t make me nervous.

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One Response to “Driving > Flying”

  1. 1 Tom

    I prefer to fly, but tend to drive. The reasons, numerous, but basically boil down to: 1) I am stubborn, 2) I hate the way airlines are operated, and 3) I’m a cheap bastard.

    If I’m not traveling alone, per person costs to drive are usually lower when driving. Time expenditure may be higher for longer trips, but if you factor in time waiting for security, waiting for the plane, delays, waiting for luggage, and travel to/from airports short trips tend to balance out on time.


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