From: The Wall Street Journal

How Not to Step on That Banana Peel

The Wall Street Journal:

Growing up in Manhattan in the 1940s and ’50s, I climbed the Palisades across the Hudson, rode between subway cars, took 15- and 20-mile bike rides along busy highways, bodysurfed the breakers at Long Beach in the summers, played hardball on lumpy playgrounds with my glasses on, swam in pools during polio season, flicked my switchblade, set off cherry bombs and had BB guns fired at me. And I never suffered more than a scuffed knee and a cut lip.

As it turns out, Steve Casner, a NASA psychologist who has devoted his career to studying why people get into accidents and how to prevent them, flirted with even more dangerous things a few decades later, like dangling out of the bed of his grandfather’s pickup. Most of that behavior wouldn’t be tolerated these days—and for the rest there are bike lanes, batting helmets, shatterproof lenses, inoculations and endless precautions. Yet people feel less safe than before. “Being careful today seems harder than it used to be,” writes Mr. Casner, in his useful new book, “Careful: A User’s Guide to Our Injury-Prone Minds.”

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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