In the original Sudden Acceleration Incident craze that afflicted America in the late eighties, the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration eventually ruled that the problem was "pedal misapplication", aka stepping on the gas when you meant to step on the brake. These incidents were highly correlated with three things: being elderly, being short, and parking (or leaving a parking space). The elderly are more prone to the sort of neuronal misfiring described in yesterday's New York Times. Shorter people have to hunt more for the pedals. And starting up from a complete stop is the most likely time to press the wrong pedal.
McArdle points out that there are three risk-increasers:
1. Being elderly
3. Being short
Repeat after me: correlation does NOT prove causation, and in fact correlation is not here demonstrated. But there are some really interesting data points.
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