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Do we have accurate perceptions of risk....?

This morning I read the tragic story of two travellers found dead in Morocco, and as a relatively frequent visitor to Morocco it's a favourite destination of mine. It doesn't seem like a moment ago that the death of Grace Millane in New Zealand was headline news. These are big headlines. However, are these cases statistically significant? It's a bit hard to find statistics on the number of UK travellers killed abroad, I've just spend some time looking! It's a bit like the two Malaysian Airlines aircraft in 2014 (one missing over the South China Sea, one shot down over Ukraine). Big news. However, taking a commercial airline flight in 2014 would put you at a risk of 1 fatal incident per 2.38 million flights. Roughly the same as getting 6 balls in the UK National Lottery (1:2.796m). I think the lesson is, don't let the alarming nature of an incident cloud our judgement of actual risk.

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