Iain Murray has the best post I've seen so far about all the grounded flights and safety inspections: he says that the FAA is probably killing more people than it's saving.

With the FAA grounding flights in the name of safety, few people seem to have appreciated that the action may well kill people.

Bear with me. Not all those whose flights have been canceled will cancel their trips. Some will find slots on other airlines, but some will choose to go by car (there being no appreciable competition from rail in most markets). Automobile travel is more dangerous than commerical plane travel for long distance trips. With the number of cancellations in the thousands, we can expect very many people to have gone long distances by road who wouldn't have otherwise. There is a chance that some of these people will be involved in a fatal accident. It is plausible, therefore, that grounding the flights will have fatal consequences.

But, you see, the FAA and the airlines aren't responsible for road deaths! Why should they care if, percentage-wise, these plane groundings kill twice as many people as they save?

See also, "Does the FDA Save Lives?".

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