Apr 26, 2001, 11:10 AM
Post #1 of 10
Need 1997 statistics
Hi all... I'm working up some figures on skydiving vs. driving. If anyone could tell me the 1997 USPA membership count and the 1997 total number of jumps in the US, I'd be grateful - I've already scoured the web and it's not out there, according to Google and Altavista. Thanks in advance!
PT, how are planning to structure the comparison? Days spent jumping would be nice, but doesn't match any driving thing well. Miles driven is good for driving, but not skydiving. Hours doing each might be OK, as long as you treat a day at the DZ as 8-10 hours, rather than counting freefall hours, something like that.
You could also do lifetime (or annual/monthly) risk exposure, if you knew what the average driver/skydiver spent doing their thing. Or just divide the raw numbers - fatalities "per capita" as it were.
Also, are you doing just fatalities, or can you get disabilitities and injuries as well?
Another useful thing would be to compare different types of driving. An answer I often give to whuffo question number one is "do you ever drink and drive?". Actually, I usually make a wisecrack about never having seen "a perfectly good airplane", but you get the idea. The point being that I think the last time I saw an analysis like this, it showed that driving overall was safer than skydiving (although not by much), but driving while impaired (how impaired?) was much more deadly.
Maybe the easy way to do this would be to just limit your survey to skydivers. What percent of skydivers are injured (killed) jumping, compared to what percent of skydivers are involved in an auto accident. I think we would find driving a lot more likely to cause injury or death.
Speaking of which, does anyone know where I can get my hands on newer stats which compare the risk exposure in skydiving to other activities? There's one on a lot of web pages but that list is from 1988-1989. Skydiving has come a long way since then and I haven't seen anything more recent.
I'm planning to set the fatality risks equal and derive the units. As in, "One skydive carries the same fatality risk as driving X miles." Ideally I would eliminate things like hook turns and no-pulls (please don't make this a Cypres thread) that people can reasonably be sure of excluding from their jumping career. But, that then raises the question of excluding bus miles and fatalities, or motorcycle miles and motorcycle fatalities. It ends up being too many numbers to juggle, and too many exceptions for people to complain that I'm comparing apples to oranges.
So, I've got the '97 highway fatalities, the '97 highway miles, the '97 driving population, and the '97 skydiving fatalities. Once I get '97 membership figures and total jumps, I can do fatality risk per action (skydive or road mile) and fatality risk per participants.
I'm not actually looking to prove that skydiving is safer, but I want to give people a number so that they can compare skydiving to the risks they take in everyday life. That way they can put a finger on the likelihood of "almost never."
Checking with USPA sounds like the best bet, but if anybody has those figures I'd really appreciate it!!
You could probably pull the numbers from his charts. At the very least, he gives the name of the person that has been compiling the stats over the years (Paul Sitter - in 1995, his email address was PSITTER@AOL.COM). Good luck.
If you want a good statistic, here's one. If you skydive for 50 years and make 100 jumps per year, there is about a 1 in 25 chance that you will die skydiving. Over that same period you have about a 1 in 4 chance of dying from cancer. Worse if you smoke.