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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Rush hour is safe hour

DT wrote in alt.fan.cecil-adams:
> http://www.newsnet5.com/news/14540974/detail.html

Ohio Patrol: 1 In 5 Fatal Crashes Occurs During Rush Hour
>
> "COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The State Highway Patrol concludes that the hours
> when Ohioans are likely to be driving to or from work are among the
> most dangerous on the state's roads.
>
> In a new study, the patrol said one out of every five deadly crashes
> occurs during the commuting hours of 6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. The
> report says there have been 730 fatal rush-hour accidents since the
> start of 2005..."
>
> So let me get this straight, during the 6 hours of concern, which
> comprise 25% of the day, only 20% of the fatal accidents occur. And
> the highway patrol concludes that it is *more* dangerous?

This is a good example of a situation in which the Highway Patrol needs to get a press release out there, and the media outlet has a time slot to fill, so they go with the obvious story even when the stats support the opposite conclusion.

When you factor in the much higher level of traffic during rush hour, it starts to look much safer than the average time.