When Clarissa Dalloway thinks that it’s “very, very dangerous to live even one day,” what, exactly, does she have in mind? She’s probably contemplating something abstract—the passage of time, the obscurity of fate. She isn’t worried about stumbling over her own feet and careening into London traffic. Then again, she hasn’t read “Careful: A User’s Guide to Our Injury-Prone Minds,” a terrifying primer on the absurd and humiliating dangers of daily life by the psychologist and safety expert Steve Casner. Every year, Casner writes, people “trip while walking down the sidewalk too close to the curb, fall into the street, and get hit by cars, trucks, and buses.” Reading “Careful” makes you want to stay in—a mistake, Casner writes, since fifty per cent of all fatal accidents happen in “that house of horrors we call home.” Puttering around the house is so dangerous that even people with hazardous jobs, such as electric-power-line installers, are more likely to do themselves in at home than at work.
Be Careful! Your Mind Makes Accidents Inevitable