What's safer, driving or the MBTA?

C. Stockwell

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The thread on the 1A road rage shooting (plus the earlier shootings this year in Mass on the road) has me thinking - what is safer, driving to commute or taking the MBTA?

In 2015, seven people died due to a MBTA commuter train hitting them. 354 people died on Mass roads in 2015. Most deaths-by-train are suicide jumpers or people who aren't supposed to be on the rails.

Why the spike in MBTA train deaths? And what is Massachusetts doing about it? - masslive.com

Massachusetts Traffic Deaths Rise at More Than Double National Average - Sheff Law

Trains safer than cars, buses for passengers, experts say

Looks like the MBTA is much, much safer than driving, even considering how the MBTA only covers the greater Boston area.
 
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snax

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I think it varies. If you're a shitty driver who can't pay attention to the road, the T is the safer bet.
For me, if I had to take the T daily, I'd end up choking the shit out of somebody, or vice versa.
I'm not a sardine, so I don't want to be stuffed in a can like one.
 

drgrant

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The thread on the 1A road rage shooting (plus the earlier shootings this year in Mass on the road) has me thinking - what is safer, driving to commute or taking the MBTA?

In 2015, seven people died due to a MBTA commuter train hitting them. 354 people died on Mass roads in 2015. Most deaths-by-train are suicide jumpers or people who aren't supposed to be on the rails.

Why the spike in MBTA train deaths? And what is Massachusetts doing about it? - masslive.com

Massachusetts Traffic Deaths Rise at More Than Double National Average - Sheff Law

Trains safer than cars, buses for passengers, experts say

Looks like the MBTA is much, much safer than driving, even considering how the MBTA only covers the greater Boston area.
You also need to include any thefts or violent crime that happens proximate to somone entering or exiting an mbta facility for this to be (more) accurate, because you wouldn't be at those places if you were driving.

Stat doesn't include train sicknesses either, between flu, etc and other communicable diseases that you'd likely never get exposed to not being on public transit, but that's too difficult to measure.
 

C. Stockwell

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You also need to include any thefts or violent crime that happens proximate to somone entering or exiting an mbta facility for this to be (more) accurate, because you wouldn't be at those places if you were driving.

Stat doesn't include train sicknesses either, between flu, etc and other communicable diseases that you'd likely never get exposed to not being on public transit, but that's too difficult to measure.
The same can be said of car damages. How many carjackings, larcenies, etc. are there involving cars? Pretty easy to reach into an unsecured jeep and steal anything. How many junkies steal change and sunglasses and gift cards out of cars? How much money stems from car crashes? Mechanics' bills, lawyers' bills, insurance bills, medical bills? Besides, although train accidents created modern tort law, the automobile threw gas onto the fire and created the whole field of modern personal injury/products liability law.

Edit:

MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co. - Wikipedia.
 
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Twigg

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I've been retired for awhile now, I don't live in ma but I'll say it's getting much more dangerous on the roads. It's not YOUR necessarily exting or distracted while driving, it's more likely THE OTHER DRIVER that'll kill you. Too many people feel like it's ok for them to drive 20-30 MPH over the speed limit while weaving in & out of traffic while juggeling a cheese burger, a Grande Latte, a cigarette and the "info-tainment systems in their car while trying to post on Facebook (or here) instead of leaving a couple of minutes early and actually PAYING ATTENTION to driving and arriving in one piece without killing someone !
 

BTSDOG

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I've been retired for awhile now, I don't live in ma but I'll say it's getting much more dangerous on the roads. It's not YOUR necessarily exting or distracted while driving, it's more likely THE OTHER DRIVER that'll kill you. Too many people feel like it's ok for them to drive 20-30 MPH over the speed limit while weaving in & out of traffic while juggeling a cheese burger, a Grande Latte, a cigarette and the "info-tainment systems in their car while trying to post on Facebook (or here) instead of leaving a couple of minutes early and actually PAYING ATTENTION to driving and arriving in one piece without killing someone !
Im also retired, and I try to drive less and less as much as possible. I live near a fairly busy roadway thats winding, double yellow lined, (for those of you that know what that means), and littered with 30 MPH speed limit signs. I usually run this road at about 35 mph. I constantly get people running up my ass at like 40-55 mph on this road. They flash the lights, blow the horn, and on occasion, I have been passed on a curve with traffic coming in the other direction. And oh yes, Ive been told im number 1 many times. I dont believe I should be pulling over for every idiot that drives this way. I cant say publicly what id like to do, but at this point I do my best to avoid a roadrage incident. Im just afraid one of these days im gonna meet one of these idiots that takes it to the next level..............oh well, thanks for listening.............
 

The5thDentist

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It is much safer than driving.

If I had to commute into Boston every day, I'd take the train, and mix it up between subway, walking, taxi/lyft/uber, or one of those rental bikes depending on my mood and final destination.

But to go in every now and then, definitely drive or rideshare.
 

drgrant

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The same can be said of car damages. How many carjackings, larcenies, etc. are there involving cars?
Lol, not quite- you forget that people have control over where and how they drive and park their cars, which can significantly reduce risks. With MBTA you have no
control outside of when you use the system and and a "gross" level of getting to pick where you get on and off, and what facilities you use, and the time you use them.
Otherwise it's just an appliance. Some of us don't do stupid shit, btw, like park jeeps and leave valuables for people to steal from them, or park in places that represent a high risk. All of these things form a risk calculus that is different for everyone. Carjacking? get real- the carjack rate for the entire state of MA is basically background noise in comparison to the # of people mugged/jumped while entering or leaving MBTA facilities every week. (of course this doesn't get included as safety, as it's not an "vehicular accident").

Also you can't compare "all traffic deaths" to MBTA deaths. Traffic deaths includes all driving, recreational or otherwise. It also includes things like driver induced deaths where the driver only kills themselves or themselves and their passengers. Not writing that crap off is like not writing off suicides as being meaningless in a statistic about "gun violence". The "all traffic deaths" would make more sense if the scope of the deaths was confined to the same urban cup MBTA service area. (eg, areas where public transit can actually act as a substitute for a car). Talking about car deaths where there is no MBTA service is sort of irrelevant and contaminates the discussion. "The train is safer than driving, because janice hit a deer with her car in Warren and died, but we'll just conveniently ignore that there's no f***ing train or bus that runs in Warren. " [rofl]

You missed my overall point- I'm not even trying to argue that a "car is safer". It certainly isn't, by the numbers. Much like airplanes. (Although an airplane is a much better argument to make, because there are less variables than mbta etc. ) I just think it deserves brutal honesty and not being disingenuous. Omitting the fact that using public transit forces exposure to various other risks is being disingenuous. I've ridden commuter rail and subways a ton and I drive over 30,000 miles a year, so I've seen both sides of the coin.

-Mike
 
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C. Stockwell

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Lol, not quite- you forget that people have control over where and how they drive and park their cars, which can significantly reduce risks. With MBTA you have no
control outside of when you use the system and and a "gross" level of getting to pick where you get on and off, and what facilities you use, and the time you use them.
Otherwise it's just an appliance. Some of us don't do stupid shit, btw, like park jeeps and leave valuables for people to steal from them, or park in places that represent a high risk. All of these things form a risk calculus that is different for everyone. Carjacking? get real- the carjack rate for the entire state of MA is basically background noise in comparison to the # of people mugged/jumped while entering or leaving MBTA facilities every week.

Also you can't compare "all traffic deaths" to MBTA deaths. Traffic deaths includes all driving, recreational or otherwise. It also includes things like driver induced deaths where the driver only kills themselves or themselves and their passengers. Not writing that crap off is like not writing off suicides as being meaningless in a statistic about "gun violence". The "all traffic deaths" would make more sense if the scope of the deaths was confined to the urban cup MBTA service
area. (eg, areas where public transit can actually act as a substitute for a car). Talking about car deaths where there is no MBTA service is sort of irrelevant and contaminates the argument. "The train is safer than driving, because janice hit a deer with her car in Warren and died, but we'll just conveniently ignore that there's no f***ing train or bus that runs in Warren. " [rofl]

You missed my overall point- I'm not even trying to argue that a "car is safer". It certainly isn't, by the numbers. Much like airplanes. I just think it deserves brutal honesty and not being disingenuous. Omitting the fact that using public transit forces exposure to various other risks is being disingenuous. I've ridden commuter rail and subways a ton and I drive over 30,000 miles a year, so I've seen both sides of the coin.

-Mike
Both cars and trains have other associated risks. But in all seriousness, if you add up muggings at train stations or people breaking into cars at station parking lots and you compare that with the ancillary crimes associated with driving (like say DUIs - its perfectly possible to get hit by a drunk [or high, people love to smoke after work] driver on your commute, especially if you work nights + weekends -- or better yet, OSL), train related deaths/injuries/crimes still pale in comparison to car related.

I guarantee that the number of DUIs and OSLs during commuting hours blows any ancillary crimes re: taking the train out of the water.
 
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drgrant

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Both cars and trains have other associated risks. But in all seriousness, if you add up muggings at train stations or people breaking into cars at station parking lots and you compare that with the ancillary crimes associated with driving (like say DUIs - its perfectly possible to get hit by a drunk driver on your commute, especially if you work nights + weekends -- or better yet, OSL), train related deaths/injuries/crimes still pale in comparison to car related.

I guarantee that the number of DUIs and OSLs during commuting hours blows any ancillary crimes re: taking the train out of the water.
Not sure if serious, DUIs during commuting hours? I'm far more likely to get hit or even killed by a sober, but stupid driver vs that. Most people aren't commuting at off hours.

I've only ever seen full blown saucers between like 10 and 2 AM or so, the worst of which seem to appear after a sportsballteam loses a huge game. (for example, when the Bruins lost the cup final I swear there were more saucers around that night than I've ever seen. I had to dodge at least three of them on 95 alone. )

These days one could argue that the text and drive types are daytime saucers, though. I could buy that.

-Mike
 
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People dying because of trains!!

Ban them --
There is no constitutional amendment saying that you have the right to own one.
 

C. Stockwell

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Not sure if serious, DUIs during commuting hours? I'm far more likely to get hit or even killed by a sober, but stupid driver vs that. Most people aren't commuting at off hours.

I've only ever seen full blown saucers between like 10 and 2 AM or so, the worst of which seem to appear after a sportsballteam loses a huge game. (for example, when the Bruins lost the cup final I swear there were more saucers around that night than I've ever seen. I had to dodge at least three of them on 95 alone. )

These days one could argue that the text and drive types are daytime saucers, though. I could buy that.

-Mike
High drivers, texting drivers, eating drivers, drunk drivers, pick your poison. I see more shitty, dangerous driving during the weekday commute than any other time. Obviously this is because this is when most people are out and about, but there's plenty of people with impaired to the point of dangerous driving abilities on the road during commutes. WAY more than dangerous things happening at train stations.
 

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