Businessweek points out a staggering study suggesting that the delays and hassle caused by post-9/11 TSA airport screening procedures encouraged travelers to go by car rather than the far safer choice of flying — resulting in thousands of extra road fatalities which would not have otherwise occurred, a death toll dwarfing that of the attacks on the Twin Towers:
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Created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Transportation Security Administration has largely outlived its usefulness. These days, the TSA’s major role appears to be to make plane trips more unpleasant.
The inconvenience of air travel is pushing more people onto the roads. Compare the dangers of air travel to those of driving. To make flying as dangerous as using a car, a four-plane disaster on the scale of 9/11 would have to occur every month, according to analysis published in the American Scientist. Researchers at Cornell University suggest that people switching from air to road transportation in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks led to an increase of 242 driving fatalities per month—which means that a lot more people died on the roads as an indirect result of 9/11 than died from being on the planes that terrible day.