Predicting the impact of full body scanners on air travel and passenger safety
Kessler, Mary Elaine
Seeley, Brett R.
Henderson, David R.
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Good decisions can be made only by looking at the full picture and accounting for what is seen and what is not seen. Air travel security measures aim to create more safety for the passenger; this is what is seen. What is not seen is the impact increased security measures create when passengers decide to substitute driving for flying. Traveling on a short-haul flight (under 500 miles) is significantly safer than driving that same distance in a vehicle. However, air travel security measures have led to more passengers choosing to substitute driving for flying due to longer wait times, greater inconvenience, and, in particular, the invasion of privacy. This study forecasts the impact full body scanners will have on air travel and passenger safety. Full body scanners invade one's privacy and, as a result, will negatively affect those passengers who place a high value on securing and maintaining their privacy. Passengers who substitute driving for flying will increase their risk level and increase the number of highway driving fatalities. The findings are that full body scanner usage at airports will increase annual highway driving fatalities from as few as 11 additional deaths to as many as 275.
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