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Sniffnoy comments on Self-fulfilling correlations - Less Wrong

103 Post author: PhilGoetz 26 August 2010 09:07PM

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Comment author: Sniffnoy 27 August 2010 12:26:47PM 2 points [-]

Presumably, you'd look at the accident rate for Volvos compared to the accident rate for similar cars driven by a similar demographic, as reflected, for instance in insurance rates. (My google-fu did not find accident rates posted on the internet, but insurance rates don't come out especially pro-Volvo.)

Tangential, but I think you may be looking at the wrong thing here; this is auto insurance. The thing it measures in addition to how often that sort of car gets into accidents, would be to what extent the car itself is resistant to damage, not how well it protects the passengers. And since other sorts of insurance aren't likely to depend on what sort of car you have, I'm not sure there's any sort of insurance you could look at for quite this info.

Comment author: brian_jaress 05 September 2010 07:44:58PM 1 point [-]

Auto insurance is broken down into different types of coverage, with injuries separate from damage to the car. In fact, I'm pretty sure your coverage makes a distinction between injuries to you and injuries to other people that are your fault. Every time I renew my insurance, they ask me if I want to change how much of each type of coverage I have.

The safety indicator that most car buyers look at is the crash test rating, usually done by a government or an insurance industry group. Maybe it's no longer part of the culture, but I remember when car ads would often show crash tests. I think there was one where the crash test dummies (like mannequins full of sensors) talked about which car they liked.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has information on crash tests and statistics on accidents and payouts.