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Risk of Diving vs Driving

Discussion in 'Non-Diving Related Stuff' started by CT-Rich, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich Solo Diver

    Big improvements in diving since 1980? there have been a few. Weirdly, some of things have not changed much. A good quality regulator from 1980 is probably on par with regulators today. There have been some big changes, Dive Computers integrate a host of functions that used to be held in a bunch of separate devices, depth gauge, watch/bottom timer, dive tables, all wrapped into a single highly reliable device. SPGs were pretty standard, but my first tank still came with a J-valve. The second stage octopus was not universal in 1980, nor was the LP inflator Jacket BCDs were just coming out and they were a huge improvement over Horse collars BCs. The idea of adding and losing air to maintain perfect trim was not really thought out very well (I recall almost no training in my basic course or my Assistant Instructor course about buoyancy control). Wetsuits have gotten a lot nicer, as have dry suits. Fins have improved a lot (most of the good fins in 1980 are still available today, and have many fans) but newer varieties have. LED Lights have gotten cheaper and more reliable.

    The big changes have been more philosophical. With buoyancy control comes the safety stop and don't touch the bottom/reef. Computers are more trustable than the tables. The dive specialties have become much more elaborate. Cave diving existed, but CCR didn't and mixed gas diving didn't exist outside the military. Lots of changes.
    Steelyeyes and Dan_T like this.
  2. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    The nature of the risks differs in some ways. If I dive carelessly, the death I cause will likely only be my own. There may be large amounts of money and manpower expended in a search for the body if not quickly recovered, so there are costs to others, but the death will be mine. I'm speaking of recreational diving; death during extended cave exploration where those doing body recovery take on great risk would be another story.

    If I drive carelessly, my odds of seriously injuring or killing other people seem much higher than diving. I could slam into a vehicle and take out 3 or 4 people. Not only is this a danger to them, it's a danger to me...I don't want that much blood on my hands. If I survived, I imagine much of the rest of my life would be a horror lived in the shadow of what I'd done.
    Dan_T likes this.
  3. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich Solo Diver

    Since we drive much more than we dive, we normalize risk differently while driving in a way we wouldn't in diving. Driving with a dead headlight, in snow, rain or fog, while tired. if we only were driving once every few days, we would probably not be willing to take risks with a vehicle that cost thousands of dollars and, for many, are essential to maintaining our income.

    Frequent divers, like Northernone probably normalize risk more than they should. They get used to getting in little jams and escaping them with little panic or difficulty and then hit a series of little jams and find them much more challenging. If they get out of them they are chastened and change their tolerance for risk. I stopped driving back from 3 dive trips alone because I realized how close I was to falling asleep at the wheel and could not find a satisfactory way to minimize the risk.
    SapphireMind, lv2dive and Dan_T like this.
  4. SapphireMind

    SapphireMind Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: CA, USA
    This, a lot! We normalize things that are scary when it becomes routine. It's honestly the only way you can cope with dealing with long-term scary things, otherwise you'd go a little insane with anxiety. It's hard because you need to retain some of the fear to keep focus, but not too much of it, to cause inaction.
  5. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    Orca Edge dive computer 1983. The first accurate reliable dive computer, a buddy of mine still uses his.

    Most improvements have been minor, as in no new technology. A rough list of "modern" improvements:

    SPG - 1958 - prevalent in the 70's
    Regulator - 1958 Sherwood mfg. adapted piston regulator for underwater use.
    IP air inflation for BC - before 1970 for new BC's
    Jacket BC - ScubaPro Stabilizer jacket 1972
    Back inflate - Watergill Atpac 1972. BP/W 1979
    Alternate second stage - ? Seen in the '70's, prevalent in the '80's. Procedure rather than new.

    Not to say there are not improvements being made, however we are still diving esentially the same gear as in the '80's, or earlier.

    CT-Rich likes this.
  6. scubafanatic

    scubafanatic Great White

    OK, so today I replaced my totaled 2015 Highlander with a new 2019 Highlander. :) Now just need a good deal on roof rack mounted Sidewinder missiles!

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