Questions tagged [safety]

The balance of benefit versus harm of an activity, device, technology or substance.

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116
votes
3answers
25k views

Were there 18 school shootings in the US from Jan 1 to Feb 14, 2018?

CBC Radio (Canada) reported earlier this evening that the Florida shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School "was the 18th school shooting in the U.S. since the beginning of 2018.". On its face ...
111
votes
1answer
14k views

Were children safer in the good old days?

Edited, as every site I found in my search last night gave me sites that all say the same thing: The perception is that the world is a really dangerous place for children these days But the ...
104
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5answers
7k views

Are personal electronics a risk to commercial aviation?

Are personal electronics (of present or recent past; e.g. cell phones, mp3 players, iPads) a risk to commercial air travel? Is the typical request to "turn off all personal electronic devices" based ...
75
votes
3answers
5k views

Does wearing a bicycle helmet make the cyclist safer?

Does wearing a helmet while bicycling make an individual cyclist safer? That is, in the case of an accident, is one safer wearing an helmet? If yes, are the odds of an accident lower, higher or ...
74
votes
2answers
22k views

Do razors with more blades work better?

A known disposable razor company is claiming on their web site that their current product is superior to their old one because it has 5 blades instead of three. You can see the claim on the "science" ...
73
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2answers
14k views

Were pen cap holes designed to prevent death by suffocation if swallowed?

Someone posted the following trivia on a social media website: Do you know that pen caps have holes so that if someone swallows a cap, then air could still pass through? This started a small ...
60
votes
1answer
10k views

Is it less dangerous to box without gloves than with gloves?

From this YouTube video by Today I Found Out, Most pertinent here, is that neither boxer would be wearing gloves in such a classic match. As paradoxical as it sounds, boxing without gloves is ...
43
votes
5answers
5k views

Is drinking raw milk more dangerous than drinking pasteurized milk?

In Australia "raw milk", more commonly known as un-pasteurised milk, is mostly illegal for human consumption, except in one state, I do believe. The consensus appears to be that pasteurising the milk ...
41
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2answers
15k views

Is it safe to stand by the windows during a thunderstorm?

There is widespread belief in my culture that we should not stay near door or windows during lightning. So people advise others to stay inside house with doors and windows closed to be safe from ...
39
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1answer
11k views

Should I cut off black banana ending before eating?

I was always told that I should cut off the black ending of a banana before eating, because it would be dangerous. Sources for this claim can for example be found here (though that source is actually ...
38
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2answers
38k views

Can you recharge non-rechargeable alkaline batteries?

There are conflicting reports of whether it is possible to safely recharge alkaline batteries (not lithium) that are not sold as rechargable. The packaging for batteries regularly has cautions ...
35
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1answer
4k views

Does fastening airplane seatbelts reduce the risk of death and injury?

The FAA states To keep you and your family as safe as possible during flight, FAA regulations require passengers to be seated with their seat belts fastened: When the airplane leaves ...
34
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1answer
7k views

Can you get your legs stuck around a pole, leading to cramping and then death?

I came across this video that makes a series of claims based around a position that a person can apparently get stuck in around a pole, and unintentionally kill themselves: Tied up without a rope (...
32
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0answers
796 views

Does cutting paper dull a knife quickly? [duplicate]

This question is a follow-up to "How to test the sharpness of a knife?", my answer to it, and the comments my answer generated. Charlie Brumbaugh wanted to know how to tell when he is done when ...
29
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5answers
4k views

Are there fewer accidental deaths at nuclear power plants than others?

I have seen the stats on this website saying that the number of death caused by nuclear accidents was way smaller then those caused by any other energy production factory. Do you have any information, ...
28
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1answer
1k views

Has anyone died from tampered candy at Halloween?

Year after year parents are bombarded with all of the risks of trick or treating. Razor blades in apples, poisoned candy, etc. Even the CDC warns against eating anything homemade or before a parent ...
28
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2answers
4k views

Does the 'two-second rule' provide a valid minimum gap for safe driving?

Most of us will have been taught the two-second rule when learning to drive. The two-second rule is a rule of thumb by which a driver may maintain a safe following distance at any speed. The rule ...
28
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3answers
1k views

Do cars pass with less space for bicyclists who wear helmets?

This question is an off-shoot of from the discussion about helmet safety. There is an assertion that when a car passes a bicycle, it allows less space to those who wear a helmet than those without. ...
27
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1answer
2k views

Does the TSA have a fail rate of 95% in breach tests?

Does the TSA fail at a rate of 95% at detecting (fake, "test") terrorists in breach tests, as reported in this news story? The best information that I have about this is a news report. Is there any ...
27
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2answers
60k views

Will sticking a knife into a toaster electrocute me?

As a child, do you remember being told not to stick metal utensils into the toaster to unlodge toast? If by chance that utensil touches the wrong thing inside of the toaster, you could be easily ...
25
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3answers
10k views

How unhealthy are aluminum cooking pans?

It is regularly stated that aluminum cooking pans are unhealthy, but I come accross them very often. I see people cooking both alkaline and acid foods in them, scrape them with metal, leave food ...
25
votes
3answers
4k views

Are safety belts in planes meant for safety?

I was travelling by air today, and I realized that there's an important difference between safety belts in cars and planes. A safety belt in a car moves from the chest on one side to the hip on the ...
25
votes
1answer
46k views

Is there a risk of drowning if you fall asleep in the bath?

Are there any documented events of people drowning in slippery baths after falling asleep? I've tried to Google it but wasn't able to find anything. Probably just used wrong terms, or maybe there ...
25
votes
1answer
31k views

Does home-WiFi expose you to less radiation than using the 3G on your cell-phone?

Are there any studies that compare WiFi and cellular data usage, in the home, over time? Mainly I've heard that WiFi uses more battery (so it should emit more radiation) but OTOH it feels like 3G/...
24
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4answers
6k views

Are slick bicycle tires more slippery in the wet?

I always assumed slick (tread-less) tires were more prone to loss of traction in the wet. That is until I read this answer on the bicycles SE which claims that bicycle tires are too thin, round and ...
24
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0answers
917 views

Was there a Soviet anti-motorcycle-helmet campaign in the late 1950s and early 1960s?

Lessig (1995, pp. 964–965) writes: Before the 1960s, motorcyclists in Soviet Russia did not wear helmets. In part this was because of a lack of any perceived need to wear helmets; in part it was ...
23
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2answers
7k views

Are big cars and SUVs safer than small cars or do they just *feel* safer?

I've long observed that many drivers in the UK choose SUVs (which are often disparagingly called Chelsea Tractors) do so at least partially because they believe such cars to be safer. I doubt this ...
23
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1answer
1k views

Are roads more dangerous when it first rains?

From DriversEd.com: Rain: Slow down at the first sign of rain, drizzle, or snow on the road. This is when many road surfaces are most slippery because moisture mixes with oil and dust that has not ...
22
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2answers
8k views

Is nuclear fusion energy as safe as its proponents claim?

With my limited knowledge of the process of nuclear fusion energy, this seems like one of the most promising methods for producing huge amounts of energy, with relatively very low risk, once ...
21
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1answer
6k views

Do green grapes cause more accidents on the London Underground than banana peels?

In Teary Deary's Horrible Histories: London, he claims that green grapes cause more accidents on the London Underground (I presume subway) than banana peels. This claim is also repeated in several ...
20
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2answers
21k views

Are bone conduction headphones safer with regards to hearing loss?

In this video, at about 1:35, a claim is made that bone conduction headphones are safer with regards to hearing loss, because the sound doesn't "affect the eardrum". Is that true? I thought hearing ...
20
votes
2answers
10k views

Is the Kinect IR laser safe?

The Microsoft Kinect uses an IR source (laser or just diode?) to project a pattern in order to get 3D data on what it's looking at. As low-power IR is invisible and intangible, many people have ...
20
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2answers
2k views

Is riding with strangers unsafe?

A commonly taught adage is to never accept a ride from a stranger. This applies mostly to children and goes hand in hand with warnings about accepting gifts from strangers. Now, having grown older, I ...
20
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1answer
1k views

Does nuclear power cause fewer deaths than other forms of electricity production, accidents included?

There have been several questions related to nuclear power in comparison to other forms of electricity production: Are there fewer accidental deaths at nuclear power plants than others? Do coal ...
20
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2answers
3k views

Do elderly drivers cause the most accidents?

Has it been statistically or empirically proven that elderly drivers (65 and over) are responsible for more accidents than any other age group? Some offer figures such as: In 2001 drivers over 70 ...
20
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2answers
3k views

Does marijuana impair driving?

Is the use of cannabis/marijuana/THC associated with risks when driving a motor vehicle, similar to impairment from the use of alcohol? The conclusions of public studies seem inconsistent. For ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

Are sharp knives safer to use than dull knives for preparing food when cooking?

There seems to be an agreement that sharp knives are much safer than dull ones when you are cutting vegetables, meat, anything you cut with a chefs knife when you cook and prepare food. The reason for ...
20
votes
1answer
916 views

Is 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11 (WiFi) Dangerous? [duplicate]

Over the years, I've heard (and read about) various dubious claims and doubtful allegations regarding the dangers of WiFi & 2.4GHz wireless ISM band communications in general. The stories ...
18
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1answer
2k views

Do loud motorcycles prevent accidents?

In my neighbourhood, there is one of these inconsiderate people who has a loud motorcycle. I've already told him that his motorbike wakes me up, and he politely apologizes, but then does nothing about ...
18
votes
1answer
953 views

Does the establishment of a legal upper speed limit on highways lead to a reduction in traffic deaths and accidents?

The conventional wisdom is that established speed limits lead to an increase in safety. Speed limits are usually set to attempt to cap road traffic speed; there are several reasons for wanting to ...
18
votes
1answer
9k views

Is it unhealthy to reuse cooking oil?

I've heard that reusing cooking oil can be unhealthy. For example: Never re-use cooking oil once it has been exposed to heat. It is a recipe for trans fats and cancer-causing carcinogens. -Source ...
17
votes
2answers
21k views

Do onions become toxic or otherwise dangerous within a day of a being cut open?

I saw a new "health advice" meme on Facebook today: Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and ...
17
votes
1answer
7k views

If I drop my cycle helmet, do I need to buy a new one?

In conversation with my housemate last night he said that if a cycle helmet is dropped, even from a height of a meter or so, onto a hard surface then it needs to be replaced. He said the internal ...
17
votes
1answer
69k views

Do open windows increase the chance of lightning striking the house?

There's a widespread belief among most of the people I know that all windows should be closed during a storm as having them open is supposed to attract lightning (or, according to some people, can ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

Is storing food in opened tin cans dangerous?

The UK National Health Service advises: never put open cans in the fridge, as the metal may transfer to the can's contents – place the contents in a storage container or covered bowl instead. ...
17
votes
1answer
556 views

Is there a “sweet spot” of secondary engagement that makes driving safer?

From Playing games while driving? BrightDriver's challenging proposition (emphasis added): At first blush, playing games while driving sounds like the kind of thing only the accident-prone would ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Do sharks quickly respond to blood in the water?

This seems to be portrayed in movies and TV quite often: we find a group of travelers desperately stranded on a small boat or raft. For one reason or another someone becomes injured and blood is ...
16
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0answers
706 views

Is online dating unsafe?

Is there any evidence to support the common conception that one is more likely to be physically injured when dating someone met online as opposed to someone met "offline"?
15
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2answers
3k views

Are there any toxic or dangerous food pairings?

Are there any foods that are harmless when eaten alone yet are dangerous or toxic when eaten together with another otherwise innocuous food? There can obviously be problems if you combine acidic ...
15
votes
2answers
448 views

Do longer yellow lights increase traffic hazards?

CBS SF Bay Area published an article about the debate surrounding CA Assembly Bill 612, which would increase the duration of yellow signals for intersections with red-light cameras. An opponent of ...