Risk in Everyday Life

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Risk. You know everyday life is full of risk, but just how much is absolutely astonishing. Let’s crunch some numbers from just around your house. You have a 1 in 30,000 risk of dying from a fall in your home this year. You have a one in 4,500 chance of injuring yourself in the bathroom. If the purpose of your visit to the loo is shaving you have a one in 7,000 chance of cutting yourself so badly you will need medical attention.

And if all this makes you feel like staying in bed with the covers over your head — forget it. You have a one in 650 chance of sustaining an injury in bed this year.

But beyond the amusing numbers risk is a serious subject. Our individual biology programs us for how we deal with the day-to-day risks of living. Our most mundane daily risk analyses shape the society in which we live — generating demand for certain food products — and certain politicians. From high to low — a discussion of risk is on this hour.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


John Ross, Smithsonian Magazine editor and author of Living Dangerously: Navigating the Risks of Everyday Life