adBlockCheck

Report: Life Put In Hands Of 2,000 Complete Strangers Every Single Day

Top Headlines

International

National Security Experts: ‘ISIS Are Fucking Assholes’

WASHINGTON—Updating the public about the deadly attacks carried out in Brussels yesterday by members of the Syria-based jihadist group, national security experts held a press conference in Washington this morning to notify Americans that ISIS are fucking assholes.

World Makes Final Attempt To Try To Understand This Shit

BRUSSELS—In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Brussels that left over 30 dead and more than 100 injured, an angry and frustrated global populace collectively announced Tuesday that it would make one last attempt to try to understand this shit.

A Timeline Of U.S.–Cuba Relations

As President Obama visits Cuba in an effort to restore diplomatic ties with the U.S., The Onion looks at pivotal moments in the tension-filled history of U.S.–Cuba relations.

Vatican City Residents Rally To Save St. Peter’s Basilica From Development

VATICAN CITY—Citing its historical significance and the valuable role it plays in the community, residents of Vatican City rallied this week to save St. Peter’s Basilica from being demolished as part of a development project that would convert the site into an expansive residential and retail complex, sources reported.

Saudi Authorities Decry Wasteful 3-Hour Death-Row Appeals Process

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA—Criticizing the amount of time and money wasted between a condemned individual’s sentencing and eventual execution, Saudi government officials expressed frustration Monday over the country’s costly three-hour appeals process for convicts facing the death penalty.

Goals Of The Paris Climate Talks

Over 150 world leaders are meeting in Paris this week to address the global effects of climate change in the hopes that a unified international effort can avert grave future consequences for the planet. Here are the major goals of the Paris climate talks

How Refugees Are Admitted Into The U.S.

The United States’ effort to accept Syrian refugees seeking asylum has been the subject of much controversy over security concerns and the rigor of the vetting process. Here are the steps involved in a refugee’s arrival in America
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Satisfaction

Report: Life Put In Hands Of 2,000 Complete Strangers Every Single Day

WASHINGTON—According to a new report from the National Institute for Safety Management, on any given day, the average American's life is entrusted to more than 2,000 different people who are complete strangers.

The report, which shows how any one of these anonymous individuals making a single mistake can easily cause another person's death, concluded that it is only through sheer luck that anyone ever makes it through a 24-hour period alive.

"People you don't know and will never even meet—food-safety regulators, bridge inspectors, whoever installed the gas lines in your home—ultimately have the power to decide whether you live or die," the report read in part. "We have no choice but to trust that these individuals are always being very careful and know exactly what they're doing."

"Which is of course something we have no way of actually knowing," the report added.

Jacob Drummond, a spokesman for NISM, unveiled a staggering list of strangers responsible for a person's life each day, which includes everyone from officials who make sure there aren't deadly toxins in the air we breathe, to construction workers who precariously hoist building materials over pedestrians' heads, to motorists who stay focused and don't veer into oncoming traffic during the rush-hour commute.

"Most people probably don't think about how fortunate they are that a jet engine has never come loose at 40,000 feet and landed on their house," Drummond said. "But it takes a whole host of mechanics, engineers, and quality-control experts—people who don't know you or your family and probably never will—to sign off on thousands upon thousands of tiny details to make sure that never happens."

"Elevator technicians, factory workers, the Transportation Security Administration, traffic cops," Drummond continued. "We even depend upon random people walking past us on the street not to suddenly pull out a knife and start stabbing us, which, when you think about it, is always a possibility."

According to the report, in the first half hour after waking up in the morning, most Americans put their lives in the hands of at least 250 different unknown people, including building contractors, water-treatment specialists, more or less everyone who works at the Colgate toothpaste manufacturing facility in Morristown, TN, and electricians.

The report also found that certain demographics had disproportionately higher levels of blind trust. For example, if you take the bus to work, you owe your life to an above-average 4,800 people per day, from the bus drivers themselves to fellow commuters at your stop who refrain from pushing you in front of a moving vehicle.

People who eat one or more meals at restaurants each day topped the list, placing their lives in the hands of more than 12,000 entirely faceless entities.

"Of course, the 2,000 people responsible for your daily survival are themselves counting on another 2,000, so if you factor that in, and take into consideration all members of your city, state, and national government, and all the individuals they don't know personally, it's more like 4 million people wielding enormous power over your continued existence," Drummond said. "And the connections fan out from there. One case study from our report found that if anything ever happens to dairy farmer Dale Ferguson of Wayne, NE, the resulting domino effect could leave as many as 156 million dead."

Reactions to the report have been mixed, with some pledging to continue their normal routine without worrying about all the people they trust with their lives, while others, such as 29-year-old marketing assistant Beth Howard, said they find the thought frightening.

"Now I feel like I need to be extra wary," said Howard, dialing her cell phone while driving on virtually no sleep and sipping a cup of hot coffee. "It's scary to think who I could be trusting my personal safety to."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close