The Five Rules of Risk

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Animation by Josh Sherrington
Sound by Graham Haerther ( )
Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster

Music by
Select footage courtesy the AP Archive



  1. Wendover Productions

    Wendover ProductionsYil oldin

    We got some math wrong. The annual fatality odds for licensed drivers in the US is actually 1 in 6,000 which translates to lifetime odds of about 1 in 75.

  2. Pro Vax

    Pro VaxOy oldin

    This is such a gross error you should edit the video.

  3. Sivan Cohen

    Sivan CohenOy oldin

    lol I looked at that and knew it wasnt right (but defanatley panicked like a crazy person for like 10 seconds)

  4. Oskar Tegby

    Oskar Tegby2 oy oldin

    Right!? I felt like that sounded a bit too crazy.

  5. John Manno

    John Manno4 oy oldin

    Excellent video, mostly. A quick comment about the final image in the video: assessing risk requires lots of data gathered over long periods of time. Without such data, good, solid, unambiguous data, it's impossible to assess risk, unless one makes assumptions; which, as you pointed out, are nearly always wrong. So when it comes to a new threat, the risks involved take a very long time to be made clear. "Erring on the side of caution" can be a good and useful rule of thumb, but exactly what "caution" is depends on those very assessments of risk that more often than not are unclear, highly debatable, or open to interpretation. Moreover, as many of these comments show, exactly how one is to interpret statistical data can be complicated in itself, adding further to the difficulty of assessing risk.

  6. Paulo Martins

    Paulo Martins4 oy oldin

    I was going to note that one.

  7. Conquer Fitness

    Conquer Fitness3 kun oldin

    Little math tip there are different values of infinity and in fact one infinity can be larger (greater than (>)) another. For example If ♾=♾ Then 2♾>♾

  8. Jordan Hildebrandt

    Jordan Hildebrandt6 kun oldin

    Excellent video! Very well done outro... Invites thought and reflection, even for those who are afraid.

  9. HIV Aladeen

    HIV Aladeen7 kun oldin

    Wow 1 in 600 chance of death from driving each year?? That’s crazy, if your in a room full of centurions +, 1 in every 6 if they all drove all their lives would be dead?

  10. Radish Records

    Radish Records13 kun oldin

    Are those statistics on driving and mountain biking really accurate? I'd assume driving happens far more often in a given year than mountain biking.

  11. Miranda Turner

    Miranda Turner16 kun oldin

    flawed brains unable to evaluate risk according to actual statistics vs fear based irrational behavior driven from hyped corporate media and government policies that don't have your personal interest in mind =ONE YEAR OF UNNECESSARY LOCKDOWNS AND DICTATOR LIKE MANDATES FROM A VIRUS WITH 99% SURVIVAL RATE* (*rate based on those under the age of 65 and those with other comorbidities)

  12. Richie A. Joe

    Richie A. Joe27 kun oldin

    Regarding rule 5, the logic is something like this The next dollar/life worth less because your need of it becomes less.

  13. Richie A. Joe

    Richie A. Joe27 kun oldin

    I personally don’t think about death in every decision I made, so I think death isn’t a decision driver for most activities.

  14. Noor Okour

    Noor OkourOy oldin

    There are many levels of risk My grandma: RISK IS RISK

  15. paulchen63

    paulchen63Oy oldin

    not all infinities are the same though. infinity+1 is bigger than infinity. so i might valuate my life at infinity, but the value of my life after going out might be infinity+1 and therefore outweighing the initial infinity.

  16. B 20 Lalitya Marathe

    B 20 Lalitya MaratheOy oldin

    When I heard the first line 'Why do you walk outside?' I thought I am in a Vsauce video

  17. Jack Thomas

    Jack ThomasOy oldin

    I would say that people don’t value the base thought of living as in breathing and existing, what is infinitely valued is a fulfilling life , therefore not going outside would diminish your life and not make it that infinitely valuable fulfilling life

  18. likejeppy

    likejeppyOy oldin

    It really does sound like you're just reading an essay made by a school student.

  19. Yash Vashistha

    Yash Vashistha2 oy oldin

    1.Voluntary risks

  20. Isaac A

    Isaac A2 oy oldin

    1:11 cybertruck? :D

  21. benjamin walburn

    benjamin walburn2 oy oldin

    1:11 is that a tesla cybertruck

  22. Le Flop

    Le Flop2 oy oldin

    I'll have you know I'm terrified of being in and driving cars too. That's part of why I hardly go outside these days

  23. Ana Lizi

    Ana Lizi2 oy oldin

    Just the same way I saw testimony of how Austin helped a man make -$50,000 weekly Profit I tried now am also sharing my testimony with over,$10,000 from the company thanks for the good did she has done for me for this short period of time

  24. José Izurieta

    José Izurieta3 oy oldin

    This video fails miserably to take into account the other side to risk: benefit. I know that driving is riskier than mountain biking, but the benefit I get from driving is far greater than the one I get from mountain biking, so I still choose driving because when I put together the risk and benefit of each activity, the net benefit I get from driving is higher than the net benefit of mountain biking. This concept -omitted throughout the entire video- challenges most of the affirmations made by the author, rendering the video useless.

  25. Randee Rufledt

    Randee Rufledt3 oy oldin

    This was deep

  26. Ryan

    Ryan3 oy oldin

    I don't walk outside

  27. Matthew Bittner

    Matthew Bittner3 oy oldin

    Conclusion. Life is sus.

  28. Alon Lavy

    Alon Lavy3 oy oldin

    1:11 he was hit by a cybertruck

  29. NoThanks OnH.W.

    NoThanks OnH.W.3 oy oldin

    I appreciate the cyber truck hitting the pedestrian 1:11 LOL that is so funny

  30. Red Jet 7059

    Red Jet 70593 oy oldin

    Why all the dislikes?

  31. Jordan Walters

    Jordan Walters3 oy oldin

    1 in 55,000 chance of dying for walking outside is way lower than the 1 in 1 chance of dying of thirst or starvation by never going outside. Also, someone's life could be worth an infinite amount and they would still choose to go outside because by doing so they are participating in their life while wrapping yourself in bubble wrap and hiding in your bath tub to minimize chance of death would mean no longer living your life so at that point you may as well just end it as it is already over. I'm not trying to poke holes in your logic just trying to prove you can't make the messy human experience logical. But if the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is correct then you really don't need to worry since every time you die there will be a world where you didn't and if dead people don't know they're dead then you'll always know you're alive. Although this doesn't save other peoples lives because when they die the version that lived is now in a separate version of your universe, but as long as you are alive you can rest easy knowing you're not dead, and if a version of you has died then you can rest easy not knowing a version of you is still alive.

  32. cutscene 1985

    cutscene 19853 oy oldin

    You have to take into account skill. Ppl can drive well but bike up and down a mountain poorly. Odds are uniform

  33. Will Keve

    Will Keve3 oy oldin

    Take Australia, fortify into large piles at your borders. Don't over extend. Never attack with just two units unless you must. Plan your attack turns around finishing risk card hands. Always ensure you have a country to take each turn to get a risk card.

  34. Anthony Ege KOPRİ

    Anthony Ege KOPRİ3 oy oldin

    First minute and I already got Agoraphobia from this vid, lets go!

  35. Debjit Das

    Debjit Das3 oy oldin

    jokes on you, im a paraplegic

  36. Adrian Nel

    Adrian Nel3 oy oldin

    Who is worried about walking down a street? The same people who are worried that their pet goldfish might splash water onto the floor and they will slip and die as a result.

  37. Alistair McCutcheon

    Alistair McCutcheon4 oy oldin

    To be fair, the risk of the unknown (at the time, nuclear power) is, well, unknown. Because of ignorance, nuclear power, in their minds, could potentially have the capacity to kill everyone on Earth because the non-experts didn't know enough about it to confidently say otherwise. We accept nuclear power now because there is a more widespread understanding of the actual level of risk (extremely low). If you didn't know anything about nuclear power apart from the name, you would be foolish not to put it on the top of the list because you didn't know enough about it. The scientists on the Manhatten Project gave a non-zero chance of the first atomic bomb igniting the atmosphere, killing everyone on Earth because it was an unknown - people didn't know anything enough about it.

  38. Rupesh Tashildar

    Rupesh Tashildar4 oy oldin

    that's the worst possible explanation for risk, sorry but you've confused more people than you've clarified

  39. H T

    H T4 oy oldin

    Here is a very cynical way to see the value of life graph: Some would argue, that when a few unrelated people die on a plane crash or terror attack, then they leave behind many of their closest friends and family in grief, but on the other hand at a genocide there are fewer people in grief left behind, because thes are killed too. Well thats of course an absolute bizarre argument, but just from a rational perspective...

  40. Adamd

    Adamd4 oy oldin

    What the video fails to mention is that stats (odds) depend on sample sizes. For example, if mountin biking were as common as driving, odds of death my increase.

  41. Sam R

    Sam R4 oy oldin

    You're talking about cars and I'm like I hate cars I know how bad they are and how deadly #anticar so when you said mountain biking and I was like oooh and it was funny with the one in thirty thousand

  42. Tyler Doolittle

    Tyler Doolittle4 oy oldin

    2:54 But there are more drivers than there are mountain bikers and more people driving cars than mountain biking at a particular time. So theres a higher chance that someone in a car is going to die because there are more people doing it at a given time. So, comparing mountain biking to driving a car wont work, it should be the car-airplane statistic

  43. Adamd

    Adamd4 oy oldin

    Exactly. This is basic statistics, I'm surprised he made that error

  44. Phlegethon

    Phlegethon4 oy oldin

    This mountain biking analogy is wrong. More skilled people choose to mountain bike while driving has a lot more amateurs so it looks like it’s lower accident. Driving is almost required for certain people so it has to be taught. Plus you probably won’t die in a mountain biking accident.

  45. 10K Entertainment

    10K Entertainment4 oy oldin

  46. J PF

    J PF4 oy oldin

    This guy does not understand suicidal ideation

  47. 33moneyball

    33moneyball4 oy oldin

    Your individual risk isn’t accurately captured by any of the generic 1 in X. There are so many variables that influence exactly where you might fall on the spectrum. A human, all things being equal, might have that 1 in X risk but all things are never equal. In an Actuarial sense with a massive sample size these might help you price risk and make money but they’re meaningless to an individual person.

  48. Idaho River House

    Idaho River House4 oy oldin

    I enjoy your videos however, infinity times zero is zero. 🙄

  49. mark wackerman

    mark wackerman4 oy oldin

    No, this episode was bad. The data didn't make sense, and you forgot about conditional probability

  50. MrLlamasKid

    MrLlamasKid4 oy oldin

    All calculated risks are models with finite variables. Sample size of mountain bikers, their demographic, their extra carefulness, etc. are distinct from the multitude of drivers +65, sleep deprived, careless. These simplified factored analyses don’t actually answer anything, risk generalized has no effect on the risk of the a single data point/ a single individual.

  51. grafknives

    grafknives4 oy oldin

    There is one more thing about risk of driving. It is the amount of hours we spend in that activity. If we go mountain biking a few times a year, and we drive 10hours a WEEK, than comparing year to year is not correct way

  52. Paulo Martins

    Paulo Martins4 oy oldin

    That last frame of maskless people amidst a crowd. The irony of it all is that given the level of protection most masks offers isn't all that high - when compared to professional i.e. expensive and scarce alternatives - and when the density of humans per square foot increases past a certain threshold, it's main function becomes not that of protecting the user but the beholder, the neighbour, the fellow citizen, the human right next to you riding the subway that you'll likely never see again in your life - acting as a shield against large particles that me, and you emite at any given time, coughing, sneezing, talking and breathing. Recall a very famous line from "300", as I parafrase "the shield I yield guards not my life, but the life to my left and the shield to my left its left in an unbroken line of shield and spear we stand", something like that, the concept is very much the same. You see I've come to realize that there can never be a point beyond what is already obvious and beyond repair, that if were I to be infected I could actively protect the people with which I have already crossed paths and sown the seeds of desease unknowingly. So I wear a mask proud, I wear it consciously and refrain from taking it off in the proximity of acquaintances and strangers, not because I am a stuck up sheep of sorts like some would say, but because you matter, your loved ones matter, everyone matters. Love your show, thought I'd share. Stay safe.

  53. Jerry Wang

    Jerry Wang4 oy oldin

    1/600 seems really high. That mean if someone drives for 60 years they will have a 10% chance of dying from a crash

  54. Andrej Nestorovski

    Andrej Nestorovski4 oy oldin

    I believe there is mistake in the math by 10x. There are 227 500 000 licensed drivers in the US and 38 800 road fatalities in 2019. 227,500,000÷38,800 = 5863. Odds of death are 1 in 5863 per year. The odds are even lower as these numbers include passangers and pedestrian deaths as well, not just the ones of licensed drivers.

  55. Gabriel B

    Gabriel B4 oy oldin

    But i'm sure the rate of non fatal injury is sky high compared to non fatal injury in mountain biking! That's why parents are afraid, not because of the low death rate!

  56. Norrotaku

    Norrotaku4 oy oldin

    this hits different in the midst of a pandemic

  57. Simon Schulze

    Simon Schulze4 oy oldin

    I’ve never been like this... To me, entering a car is far scarier than mountainbiking because I’m aware of the risk, as are most people, yet their actions will reflect the opposite. It’s been my quest for many years now to figure out why everyone I know is so incredibly irrational... I’m not sure I will ever succeed. I guess a more useful question would be why I’m different, but would I want to hear the answer?

  58. thịnh trịnh tuấn

    thịnh trịnh tuấn4 oy oldin

    You did not think about things like, most of car drivers are average person and most of mountain bikers are fucking monster athlete have a bull size of heart to endure stress while biking, so they don't die while do so. Statistics just show correlation, not define the meaning of things.

  59. Robert Andrews

    Robert Andrews4 oy oldin

    Driver is more dangerous because of other people. That dumass that can't stop checking their phone for the most urgent of things, someone liking their picture or post, or people doing makeup or eating or really anything besides focusing on the road. Mountain biking is basically free from someone else impacting you. Only your actions will effect you, unless your in a densely packed group and someone crashes but I would imagine most keep some distance and have smaller groups if not just being by themselves. Man is the most dangerous game, it is and always will be true.

  60. Gembly

    Gembly4 oy oldin

    yo Sam I don't walk outside

  61. RoAnnon

    RoAnnon4 oy oldin

    Came expecting a video about playing the boardgame... left disappointed :(

  62. ADUBS animation

    ADUBS animation4 oy oldin

    Wait I thought he meant the game risk

  63. Halbeard

    Halbeard4 oy oldin

    Sam taking the risk of making mathematical arguments without applying math properly

  64. Etu Suku

    Etu Suku5 oy oldin

    Walking outside gives value.

  65. Hannes Rodriguez

    Hannes Rodriguez5 oy oldin

    The Tesla cyber truck outline I'm gone

  66. mgs OGKUSH

    mgs OGKUSH5 oy oldin

    1:37 I need someone who's good at geoguessr to tell me where the fuck this place is

  67. Alex Sanders

    Alex Sanders5 oy oldin

    i thought this was about the fckin game :(

  68. Quirktart

    Quirktart5 oy oldin

    1. Select a color and, depending on the number of players, count out the "armies" you'll need to start the game. 2. Roll one die. Whoever rolls the highest number takes one Infantry piece from his or her pile and places it onto any territory on the board, thus claiming that territory. 3. Starting to the left of the first player, in turn, everyone places one army onto any unoccupied territory. Continue until all 42 territories have been claimed. 4. After all 42 territories are claimed, each player in turn places one additional army onto any territory he or she already occupies. 5. Continue in this way until everyone has run out of armies. There is no limit to the number of armies you may place onto a single territory. 6. Shuffle the pack of RISK cards (maybe, remove the Mission cards) and place the cards face down by the side of the board. This pack forms the draw pile.

  69. Ape X

    Ape X5 oy oldin

    Idc, what will happen will happen. Its best to live a good life, not long life

  70. Bálica Dávid

    Bálica Dávid5 oy oldin

    Me inside my house: In terms of risk we have no risk.

  71. Electric Midnight

    Electric Midnight5 oy oldin

    00:08 - 00:54 My brain explaining to me why i shouldn't exercise

  72. ryan partlan

    ryan partlan5 oy oldin

    as a mountain biker, i love the mountain biking example!

  73. username1nmillion

    username1nmillion3 oy oldin

    I wouldn't say mountain biking is "Risky" I just can't be bothered with the physical demands of it. #Seriously 😕 : I'm ashamed to say i can't swim a full length of a swimming pool without getting exhausted { anymore } 😓. Although I *WILL* take my risk with swimming at Bondi Beach { or any of my other local ocean beaches } wanting to catch a huge wave trying to catch it in "the barrel" { mouth of the wave } just before it crashes towards the shore. 🏖🏊✅ ⛰🙅🚳

  74. baylinkdashyt

    baylinkdashyt5 oy oldin

    You got some words wrong, too, sadly. Risk isn't the balance. *Risk is the negatives*. Specifically, it's the product of cost and probability. The positives are "reward". It's balancing the two that humans generally suck at.

  75. Logan Kotter

    Logan Kotter5 oy oldin

    I saw the dice and thought this would be about Yahtzee...

  76. H Meric

    H Meric5 oy oldin

    "Why do you walk outside?" I don't

  77. Primoz Ivancic

    Primoz Ivancic5 oy oldin

    Isn't another reason to take risk because there is no other choice - eg. going outside being infinitely bad is still less than starving infinitely bad

  78. Orange Pie

    Orange Pie5 oy oldin

    We also have to take into account there are hundreds of millions of fewer people mountain biking than driving and the type of people who are mountain biking.

  79. Aaryan Jain

    Aaryan Jain5 oy oldin

    Aren't rules 2 and 5 in contradiction?

  80. anna rams

    anna rams5 oy oldin

    When the video changes your outlook on cars...

  81. Game Feed

    Game Feed5 oy oldin

    2:46 that’s not a cybertruck is it...

  82. Game Feed

    Game Feed5 oy oldin

    Wait there is a risk of 1:55 000 by walking outside???? I don’t think I wanna be outside anymore...

  83. Daniel DuVernay

    Daniel DuVernay5 oy oldin

    when he talks about getting hit by a car it's a cybertruck.

  84. NicholsZiegler

    NicholsZiegler5 oy oldin

    Why I have the impression that many videos are supported by nuclear power industry? On Chernobyl or Fukushima beside direct death of people it was also soil,water and air contamination which increases risk of cancer. Soil will be contami ated for a long time. The same is with climate change, people think of nice weather, but effect can be severe drought

  85. Nicholas Brassard

    Nicholas Brassard5 oy oldin

    2:50 there are a lot more people that drive than there are people who mountain bike, so I think the odds could be skewed due to the small sample size, no?

  86. Colton Golobish

    Colton Golobish5 oy oldin

    you should seriously make a RISK VIDEO THAT TEACHES US TO PLAY RISK !!!!! MANY PEOPL THOUGHT THIS WAS HOW TO PLAY THE GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  87. Colton Golobish

    Colton Golobish5 oy oldin

    @ART ! no i wont theres even dice on the picture

  88. ART !

    ART !5 oy oldin

    Please calm down it’s his channel

  89. User 007513

    User 0075135 oy oldin

    What is this, some kind of game theory? Anybody catch the double entendre? Of course they did...everyone on the internet is SUCH A NERD!

  90. TwitchyTopHat

    TwitchyTopHat5 oy oldin

    Came for board games. Got existentialism instead

  91. S. Christopher Burford

    S. Christopher Burford5 oy oldin

    I expected this to be about the board game. Disappointed.

  92. ahab_dota

    ahab_dota5 oy oldin

    you fail to mention that just because ur fighting in vietnam, ur not immune to disease or accident, u just added a diceroll ontop

  93. Kurbo

    Kurbo5 oy oldin

    This is way too "Did you know we all have flawed perceptions, you dumb ape" for my liking

  94. Steezboy3000

    Steezboy30005 oy oldin

    With mountain biking you also didn't include the incredibly high risk of injury of mountain biking. Just because theres a low risk of death, doesn't mean it doesn't carry significant risks. Chopping a finger off probably carries a relatively low risk of death, doesn't mean that its safe or that the outcome doesn't matter just because its not death. Any mountain biker will proudly tell you the litany of injuries they've accumulated through the sport. Same with football. Risk of death is low, risk of an injury that follows you around for life is a lot higher.

  95. Skylon

    Skylon5 oy oldin

    By living, you risk dying. Every second you live, is another second closer to death. Together, we can stop this.

  96. Lucky Luke

    Lucky Luke5 oy oldin

    Using today's data yes, you are more likely to die driving a car than riding a mountain bike. But if everybody mountain biked as much as they drove I doubt mountain biking would be safer. To put it in other words : I'm willing to bet driving for an hour is less likely to injure or kill me than mountain biking for an hour. Not saying human perception of danger isn't flawed. Just saying driving VS mountain biking is a bad example.


    TAILƎS LUONG5 oy oldin

    Person A: skydives every day, parkours across volcanoes for fun, dies at 80 Person B: stays at home all day, dies at 30 due to cancer

  98. fivefootten

    fivefootten5 oy oldin

    1 in 600. Yeah no. Fix your video

  99. Cyan

    Cyan5 oy oldin

    Read the pinned comment

  100. Mario Garciduenas

    Mario Garciduenas5 oy oldin

    yes, but also the amount of people driving, vs the amount of people riding mountain bikes is radically and unmistakably different.

  101. Cameron Rogers

    Cameron Rogers5 oy oldin

    Rule 5 is why some people are unwilling to tolerate a slight risk of an allergic reaction to a COVID vaccine but argue that COVID is not killing people faster then they would normally die. No one has died from a vaccine but millions have died from the disease.

  102. Black Bananas

    Black Bananas6 oy oldin

    Haven’t watched the video but having read the rule sheet for Risk I’m pretty sure the game has more than 5 rules

  103. Xavier Your Savior

    Xavier Your Savior6 oy oldin

    Comparing driving, a situation where there’s literally millions you Pass each day with hill biking, an event which has a way lower number of people isn’t a good analogy to compare “risk factor”

  104. Xandar YT

    Xandar YT6 oy oldin

    2:44 cybertruck xD

  105. sophia loli

    sophia loli6 oy oldin

    lol this video totally called out corona and all the bs now the flawed preseption of risk made for others

  106. Sven Bro

    Sven Bro6 oy oldin

    With the example of comparing driving and mountain biking: It is not just about death but also about the risk of hurting yourself.

  107. mcv86

    mcv866 oy oldin

    3:10 - Driving might be more riskier than mountain biking in the sense that you are more likely to get into an accident. But at the same time, since you defined risk in terms of balance of negatives and positives, people are more likely to get more positives out of driving.

  108. Deltarious

    Deltarious6 oy oldin

    The logic in the intro is incorrect and false. It presupposes that one's reason for going outside isn't directly linked in some way to their continued survival, and thus that one is *required* to take on some short term risk in order to guarantee longer term survival. If you wait long enough inside doing nothing, the risk of death becomes so high due to factors such as, you know, starvation, that the risk of going outside is smaller than the risk of staying inside and doing nothing about it. Remember, that you assented that one should choose *never* to go outside. It also completely disregards the notion that one's mental well being is tied directly to their ability to continue their own life and thus in order to preserve one's self at least some level of risk must be accepted or else the risk of serious mental harm and thus eventually of death is also present (I am of course assuming that for the vast majority of people some level of physical and/or social contact is required and not optional). Thus it is entirely false to claim that one cannot value their own life infinitely based on this logic alone, as each time your infinite multiplication is cancelled out by being balanced against infinite value of actions taken with the ultimate outcome of preserving the self. It is true, however, that most people do not value themselves truly infinitely, as there is an inherent concept of 'living a life worth living' for most people. However your logic is just flat wrong.

  109. elweasel2010

    elweasel20106 oy oldin

    Damn, I thought this was about the game Risk.

  110. Drifyt

    Drifyt6 oy oldin

    but you forgot the main thing here, the average person (the vast majority of people) will not know the risk odds so its a null/flawed point. So you are half there.

  111. Sedat Mehmed

    Sedat Mehmed6 oy oldin

    There are some problems with your calculations of perceived risk. But first - our risk perception is NOT flawed. It works as intended but it is suited for life in nature not in civilization. That explains almost everything bizarre about it. 1. Walking outside - in the nature walking has risk but this risk is small if you are in a familiar area - you know if there are predators or other dangers. In the nature there aren't fast moving 2 tonne objects to crush you. Loud car sounds aren't natural - you can recognize a galloping predator by its distinct noise. In our streets the noise is normal so we don't pay attention to it and the environment feels safe. 2. Mountain biking vs driving a car on the roads - moving fast with your body basically exposed in Rocky hills is definition of danger in the nature. There is very high risk of getting injuries. Remember we perceive and asses the risk of injuries too not just death. Braking a leg in the nature is almost equal to dying - you can't move, find water, food or shelter and you are guaranteed to die if there is no one to help you which was probably the case back in the ancient times. In a car you are protected by the vehicle from some injuries which gives a sense of security. I had two car crashes with both vehicles totalled and I had absolutely no injuries. Also the calculations are skewed by the level of professionalism in both activities - regular mountain bikers are much more experienced in this activity than drivers. People drive of necessity but ride bikes because of passion and that pushes them to get better. Also if you don't feel good you don't go biking but you drive around. And you drive every day opposed to biking which you plan ahead and do only whenever you want it. If you look in the statistics and compare the risk of driving a motorcycle and a car you will see that pretty much lines up with our natural perception of risk. 3. The diminishing perceived tragedy of large number of people dying. People don't have a natural sense of scale for large numbers. It is really hard for someone to imagine a million people but far less so to imagine 50. Also as you mentioned with increased death count every life becomes less valuable. 4. Perceived risk of unknown - it makes a lot of sense in the nature. In unknown terrain you don't know what and where are the dangers to you. If you go back to the walking on the streets you feel more safe in your town/city/village even in the dark backstreets rather than in a foreign place where you tend to stick to main roads and avoid unknown streets and roads.