Black Swan Alert: Two Women Killed By Elevators in One Week

December 16th, 2011

Don’t forget, taking the elevator is still safer than taking the stairs.

Yesterday a woman was killed when she tried to enter an elevator that suddenly shot upwards out-of-control. Just a week earlier, a woman was crushed by an elevator as she tried to crawl out of one that was in-between floors. Are you now terrified of elevators?

Don’t be. They’re way safer than stairs. Elevators carry people 18 billion times per year in the United States, which results in 27 deaths on averge annually. The Los Angeles Times estimatesthe per-trip elevator fatality rate to be 0.00000015 percent—and since elevator mechanics are the most at risk, the rate is lower for a regular person.

More from Ted Frank on the rarity of these accidents, and Kyle Graham. Let’s keep an eye open for rash and hasty legislation dealing with elevators.