The Five Rules of Risk

Get your custom domain or email for 10% off at
Listen to Extremities at
Buy a Wendover Productions t-shirt:
Subscribe to Half as Interesting (The other channel from Wendover Productions):
Instagram: sam.from.wendover
Sponsorship Enquiries:
Other emails:
Animation by Josh Sherrington
Sound by Graham Haerther (
Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster
Music by
Select footage courtesy the AP Archive


  1. Wendover Productions

    Wendover Productions4 ditë më parë

    We got some math wrong. The annual fatality odds for licensed drivers in the US is actually 1 in 6,000 which translates to lifetime odds of about 1 in 75.

  2. Alex Baker

    Alex Baker13 orë më parë

    @Ch LePrince It isn't ehven number of people are this can be can easily be accounted for. It should be deaths/hour/capita or even deaths/distance/capita. Even this is a fallacy, as experience and conditions of both driving and mountain biking come into play. Are the deaths of mountain bikes stacked in the inexperienced or very experience buy extreme mountain bikers or somewhere else, just like driving deaths is it the Highways or the Residential roads? Or is it actually the conditions, i.e. snow, ice, darkness etc.

  3. Alex Baker

    Alex Baker13 orë më parë

    That isn't really relevant anyway as it should be amount the activity is done per year. This isn't your best made video ever I am afraid. Also it would depend where you drove, where as any form of mountain biking would have a risk as even falling over stationary could mean your head hits a rock and you die, the odds of this are very low. The equivalent is sitting in a parked car, how long until you die? A car will hit that parked car at some point, but even then it has so many safety features you still probably wouldn't die.

  4. Namefag

    Namefag16 orë më parë

    Actually paused the video and run the math because I felt it was way too high. Glad to know it was a mistake.

  5. ACIDesignsUY

    ACIDesignsUYDitë më parë

    Sorry but the kaleidoscope was really annoying couldn't watch to the end and unlike

  6. Jacob Yang

    Jacob YangDitë më parë

    also, I definitely think there should be a repost as that's a pretty significant error.

  7. LoungeSpecialist

    LoungeSpecialist7 orë më parë

    All of us Christians watching this: NBD

  8. bob smith

    bob smith9 orë më parë

    Cough cough, cdc, cough, cough

  9. Julian Manieson Jr

    Julian Manieson Jr9 orë më parë

    Is there not some Irony in this video ending with the words "or someone else will take it" re the domains?

  10. Marc Goodman

    Marc Goodman12 orë më parë

    We drive motorized vehicles because of the convenience, utility, necessity and pleasure they provide; therefore, we accept a higher risk__though we rarely think about it. We don't ride mountain bikes for the same reasons as we drive; therefore, we accept a lower risk. If the very last image was some sort of 'dig' at the need for mass self-isolation, when was the last time so many did so much for so few? Thank you for not Coviding.

  11. jun ski

    jun ski14 orë më parë

    not walk outside is guaranteed death by hunger.

  12. Grzegorz Dyk

    Grzegorz Dyk16 orë më parë

    Ha! I love it how you used a Cybertruck silhouette to represent a car :D

  13. Axel Petersson

    Axel Petersson16 orë më parë

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="163">2:43</a> this is true and i understand your point but comapred to other sports like soccer or basket ball, Mountain bikini is more dangeroise

  14. Dean9419

    Dean941916 orë më parë

    @wendoverproductions The numbering on the 'Activity or Technology' is wrong @ <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="497">8:17</a>, on the students side there's two #6's and #16 is missing

  15. Jan P

    Jan P17 orë më parë

    Comparing the risk of driving a car and the risk of mountain biking solely on the death toll is very skewed logic. Parents being against mountainbiking as a school activity is probably not because they are fearing their kids dying, but because of (severe) accidents, which especially untrained DO happen a lot.

  16. Wertsir

    Wertsir17 orë më parë

    This video: “Why do you walk outside?” Coronavirus: “Let me stop you right there.”

  17. Tom Hammond

    Tom Hammond18 orë më parë

    The moving kaleidoscope background is really disorienting and makes it harder to read FYI. Good video otherwise

  18. bodoti qwiu

    bodoti qwiu18 orë më parë

    "infinity multiplied by anything is infinity" zero enters the chat

  19. Price Thomas

    Price Thomas20 orë më parë

    I thought this was gonna be about a board game!

  20. SJG

    SJG21 orë më parë

    I have always been completely baffled by everyones blind acceptance of cars. Everybody just acts as though there is nothing that needs to be fixed and that it is a completely safe thing to do. Everyone deploys the them but not me defense. "Oh somebody else will get hurt, but I'm a good driver." When in reality, we are all just as likely to get hit by the drunk driver and killed, just as a few in my life have been.

  21. bodoti qwiu

    bodoti qwiu18 orë më parë

    With this lockdown entering the third month, about 6,300 people who were supposed to die in car accidents during these two months, are not going to die. Maybe you’re one

  22. kelvink9999

    kelvink999922 orë më parë

    Sadly this is why paintball isnt popular enough

  23. Tristan Möller

    Tristan Möller22 orë më parë

    Wealth is relative. The comparison with the dollar doesn’t hold up because in the case of a dollar, the perceived value loss at higher quantities is logically true as well. 10$ is as much money to someone who has 1000$, as 1000$ is to someone who 100,000$. It is us humans who assign value to the money, otherwise it would only be printed paper. Because that is the case, any perceived value equals the real value. If everybody was rich, nobody would be rich.

  24. Tobix

    Tobix22 orë më parë

    Well, did not know that the risk to die while i go for a walk is 1/55.000. Maybe i should not go outside anymore.

  25. Harpax A

    Harpax A22 orë më parë

    In the end I would expect it to punch Trump & his Covid19 policies.. but guess Wendover love audiences too much... 😏

  26. Eman M

    Eman M23 orë më parë

    But I’ve been in more mountain bike accidents than I can remember and I’ve never ever been in a car accident

  27. Bill Kong

    Bill KongDitë më parë

    Also I don't think it's not exactly lives that are worth saving. It's more like living that's worth saving. That's why it's such a tragedy when a 10 year old dies of cancer but we basically accept that 80 year olds will die of cancer. That's why so many people are insensitive to the human cost of Covid - the average age of a covid victim greater than the average age of total mortality.

  28. Bill Kong

    Bill KongDitë më parë

    It's also not novelty that increases perceived risk. It's more like uncertainty gives a range of possible perceived risks. If you're a person who is risk averse then you will perceive risk at - say - the 99th percentile. Then a high uncertainty activity will seem very high risk because the chance of something terrible happening seems high. But some people are risk tolerant they may perceive risk at the 5th percentile. They'll look at the same event and think hey there's a very high chance that nothing bad at all will happen.

  29. Bill Kong

    Bill KongDitë më parë

    The yardstick isn't disease the yardstick is total mortality. The only reason it looks like disease is because that's what currently dominates total mortality. This is very natural: we care about a new source of mortality when it significantly contributes to total mortality. That's basically how we evaluate everything.

  30. Bill Kong

    Bill KongDitë më parë

    The example of driving is a perfect counterexample to the idea that prevalence is inversely proportional to acceptance. I think there's very much an opposite effect too. People don't want to be the only idiot getting killed. But if everyone is doing it, even if a lot of them are dying, then maybe this is how life is meant to be. People smoke and drink and drive and sometimes they go to war.

  31. Bill Kong

    Bill KongDitë më parë

    There's some bad statistical interpretation in this video. I ride a bike a lot more than the average person and if I went off a 20 foot jump right now my chance of dying isn't 1/30,000 per year it'd be like 1/10 in 2 seconds along with 8/10 chance of serious injury. So most people, like me, evaluate this rationally, and then avoid doing the risky thing they can't manage. The reason why the risk of mountain bikers dying of mountain biking per year is so low is that they are subject to super strong self selection to be good at it, and even when they do they don't spend nearly as much time doing it as people spend driving cars: it's a recreational activity. So comparing per year population mortality for the two activity has basically no relevance for comparing instantaneous individual mortality.

  32. jawbreaker

    jawbreakerDitë më parë

    In a car you can choose to drive slowly and carefully and even if someone else hits you you will not die. You will die only if you do something stupid. On the other hand with the bike if you fall off a cliff your dead. Even if driving slowly if you fall you will hurt your knee.

  33. joe sharp

    joe sharpDitë më parë

    More risk to get injured mountain biking and is unimportant for daily life so I would say the risk involved in mountain biking is higher

  34. Andrew James

    Andrew JamesDitë më parë

    ok kurzgesagt

  35. Nico

    NicoDitë më parë

    Rule 1 (voluntary over involuntary risk) and rule 4 (new things riskier) really explain why people are so scared or not onboard with self driving cars

  36. Persona

    PersonaDitë më parë

    "When people, somehow, get to decide what risk others face" **cuts to a crowd of people in face masks** very subtle...

  37. Wimbely Parkersson-Davis

    Wimbely Parkersson-DavisDitë më parë

    With this lockdown entering the third month, about 6,300 people who were supposed to die in car accidents during these two months, are not going to die. *Maybe you’re one of the 6,300.*

  38. Wimbely Parkersson-Davis

    Wimbely Parkersson-DavisDitë më parë

    With this lockdown entering the third month, about 4,000 people who were supposed to die in car accidents during these two months, are going to die. Maybe you’re one of the 4000

  39. ntt2k

    ntt2kDitë më parë

    This felt like an old-school Vsauce video

  40. Person Man

    Person ManDitë më parë

    "Voluntary" is defined confusingly here. Driving isn't voluntary for most people. What frames it to be voluntary?

  41. abbsnn cose

    abbsnn coseDitë më parë

    Title: The Five Rules of Risk Preview: Ryanair Me: you mean risk of breaking back?

  42. ACIDesignsUY

    ACIDesignsUYDitë më parë

    Sorry but the kaleidoscope was really annoying couldn't watch to the end and unlike

  43. abbsnn cose

    abbsnn coseDitë më parë

    Why do I feel like at the end of the video, he is directing that message to a certain president judging by the background video, cough cough trump cough cough*

  44. Better With Rum

    Better With RumDitë më parë

    Sam is starting an insurance company ;)

  45. sion8

    sion8Ditë më parë

    (<a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="53">0:53</a>) Cue Vsauce's into music.

  46. Danyal

    DanyalDitë më parë

    mountain biking death stats is lower because high barrier to entry limits participation from only skilled and interested people, while driving is accessible to anyone.

  47. Daemon Magister

    Daemon MagisterDitë më parë

    This is just a death circle jerk video

  48. Paul Hamacher

    Paul HamacherDitë më parë

    Well.. just another good video that points out how dumb we are as a species.

  49. Dani Büki

    Dani BükiDitë më parë

    Alright, so I lost the little rules booklet, and looked up the rules online, and I still don't know what to do with this map, dice and little army figurines, but I think I know a bit more about how and why I over and underestimate the dangers of this world...

  50. João Paulo

    João PauloDitë më parë

    One dollar will always be one dollar. Well, yes, but no. Inflation beat the value of a coin, so a dollar in the past gave you a room, but nowadays it gives you some candy.

  51. Karthik Selvarajan

    Karthik SelvarajanDitë më parë

    That guy got hit by a Cybertruck at <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="71">01:11</a>

  52. jeff kraus

    jeff krausDitë më parë

    Infinity times 0 equals the set of all real numbers.

  53. Causality_Education

    Causality_EducationDitë më parë

    Any Book Recommendations on risk?

  54. eurocowdotcom

    eurocowdotcomDitë më parë

    Please avoid that nausea inducing background in future.

  55. Ólafur Tryggvi Þorsteinsson

    Ólafur Tryggvi ÞorsteinssonDitë më parë


  56. Il Sopravvissuto

    Il SopravvissutoDitë më parë


  57. Jesus Mind

    Jesus MindDitë më parë

    life evaluated along a single fulcrum with only two variables, plus and minus. I wish you would simplify this, I mean life is not so complex as either or, one or two. I don't recall voluntarily being born, a big risk to life and I don't recall coming to the table of life to bet the farm, the farm I did not ask to inherit. Jerking off

  58. Abhijeet Singh

    Abhijeet SinghDitë më parë

    "- we could accept if air travel had the same level of risk." Proceeds to show Ryanair

  59. Jacob Yang

    Jacob YangDitë më parë

    Why do I feel like at the end of the video, he is directing that message to a certain president judging by the background video, *cough* *cough* trump *cough* cough*

  60. i Believe your lies

    i Believe your liesDitë më parë

    Lack of fear , boredom, stupidity.

  61. Nova Flux

    Nova FluxDitë më parë

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="54">0:54</a> please don't use this animated background, it's making me sick

  62. Товарищ João

    Товарищ JoãoDitë më parë

    as big man Joseph Stalin himself once said: “ The death of one person is a tragedy; The death of a million, a statistic. “

  63. Matthew Schmitz

    Matthew SchmitzDitë më parë

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="71">1:11</a> it’s the Cyber truck that hits him lol

  64. David Stinnett

    David StinnettDitë më parë

    I would argue that mountain biking is probably more dangerous than driving for the person who does both. The sample size is so different between the two activities that it doesn’t make a ton of sense to compare them directly against each other, and because so many more people drive, there’s more unskilled and uncoordinated people doing it, screwing the results to say driving is more risky, however, for the person who does both mountain biking and driving, my prediction is that they would have a greater risk of injury from mountain biking than driving, all other things being equal This is similar to the statistics about being more likely to killed by a cow than a shark. A person who lives in a city and never does beach vacations probably has a neat 0 percent chance of either thing. More people spend time around cows than around sharks, so therefor for many people a shark attack is a more likely thing but the numbers hide this

  65. nieooj gotoy

    nieooj gotoyDitë më parë

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="68">1:08</a> “An American has a 1 in 55000 chance of dying by being hit by a car” Shows Tesla CyberTruck Well played, mate 😂

  66. Ian Buck

    Ian BuckDitë më parë

    The statement at the beginning that one would never walk outside if they infinitely value their life is absurd, because your risk of death while staying in your home is not zero.

  67. nieooj gotoy

    nieooj gotoyDitë më parë

    saving 100000 lifes. You don't even remember what you said, terrorism is as accepted as large scale natural disater ? Yeah, people were killed "voluntarily" remeber how tha

  68. Anti-jar The magnificent

    Anti-jar The magnificentDitë më parë

    the risk comparison is wrong. an average driver drives more per year than average mountain biker mountain bikes. a fair comparison should be between risk of dying per hour of activity

  69. hoseja

    hosejaDitë më parë

    Most of these "rules" are only true in contemporary american society.

  70. Danila Pakhom

    Danila PakhomDitë më parë

    you`ve shown Russia?

  71. Arthur Clery

    Arthur Clery2 ditë më parë

    I feel like your evaluation of the risk in mountain biking is wrong. The risk of fatalities is far lower, but the risk of injuries is higher. When you come off a mountain bike, you probably won't die, but there's a good chance you'll break your wrist. So it's not really the best comparison, because one has a risk of lethality and the other has a risk of injury.

  72. Herm Ask

    Herm Ask2 ditë më parë

    Murphy’s law, Dunning/Kruger,Peter Principle,the list of fallacies ... I’m adding this one. No one could have expected that? I declare: shit will happen!

  73. Aleksa Kovacevic

    Aleksa Kovacevic2 ditë më parë

    A FFS I thought it will give me an edge in the board game...

  74. Klerk

    Klerk2 ditë më parë

    Nice message at the end

  75. Cypher791

    Cypher7912 ditë më parë

    I would save a cats life before I would save one hundred crackhead lives...

  76. Dutch

    Dutch2 ditë më parë

    That whole walking outside argument doesn't really hold up for me. Unless you are walking outside just for the sake of it. But when I walk outside to get food or to work so I can get money I need to buy food then there is a clear positive. And since it's for my survival it will balance the risk out. But then again the risk of you dying if you don't eat or drink is not a 1 in 55000 chanche but a guarantee. So the balance should wildly swing to the positive side.

  77. RasBookie

    RasBookie2 ditë më parë

    Calculated risk ..... Decision.... then flip a mental coin..... And act!.... 😎🇻🇮

  78. João Miguel

    João Miguel2 ditë më parë

    Couldn’t we say yes to driving, but no to mountain biking (even though driving is statistically more dangerous) because driving is more necessary than mountain biking?

  79. SaguineScrewloose

    SaguineScrewloose2 ditë më parë

    I'm only <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="210">3:30</a> in and you've made some really terrible points already. 1. Just because one does not gain anything if something is lost, doesn't make that thing infinitely valuable. If Orion's belt was to blink out of existence, we would not gain anything, but I don't think anyone would make an argument that Orion's belt is infinitely valuable. Additionally, most people would acknowledge that there are extreme qualifiers around life. For example, if I offered you a guaranteed 120 years of life, but you would be tortured throughout that, I think most people would decline. 2. Staying inside has its own risks too, which you don't mention at all. Mental risks, starvation: there are many cases wherein going outside is there to mitigate risks, not take them. 3. Comparing driving to mountain biking? Seriously? This is an absolutely awful comparison. One is a competitive sport and one is a means of people commuting. If you wanted a reasonable comparison, maybe compare NASCAR and mountain biking; or cycling to commute vs driving to commute. I'd also point out that it's not an either/or choice. In fact, if you're making the argument that we need to minimize risk, then most drivers turning down mountain biking makes sense, because doing so would minimize a risk. No one is mountain biking to work, and it's disingenuous to suggest that people won't do one when they do the other, when you're actually saying "people have to do one, but many won't choose to also do the other". You make the claim that our risk evaluation is "flawed", and I don't necessarily disagree, but your points thus far are absolutely terrible.

  80. Patrick Christian

    Patrick Christian2 ditë më parë

    Wear a mask, Social Distancing Wash your hands: Voluntary Risk Coronavirus: So you've chosen death

  81. Benjamin Köppler

    Benjamin Köppler2 ditë më parë

    Driving and mountain biking would be equally dangerous if the same number of people did it. Driving is dangerous because not only good drivers drive. Mountain biking is less dangerous than driving, because no one that dosn't have the abilitys needed to react quickly, has the necesary strenght and balance is capable of biking further than a few meters and with speeds that could get lethal. A drunk person won't be able to drive a bike over walking speed, but is very capable to drive 100km/h+. Oh, and the risk to kill someone else whilst driving drunk on a bike is far less than driving drunk with a 2 ton vehicle.

  82. Blood Bath and Beyond - Pop Goes Metal Covers

    Blood Bath and Beyond - Pop Goes Metal Covers2 ditë më parë

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="468">7:48</a> holy boobs

  83. Minecraftbuilding

    Minecraftbuilding2 ditë më parë


  84. Minecraftbuilding

    MinecraftbuildingDitë më parë

    Money 💵

  85. 伙伴小伙伴

    伙伴小伙伴Ditë më parë


  86. Minecraftbuilding

    MinecraftbuildingDitë më parë

    I’m thinking about... money

  87. 伙伴小伙伴

    伙伴小伙伴2 ditë më parë


  88. Tristan BdG

    Tristan BdG2 ditë më parë

    This is so biased... Moutain bikes surely don't cause a lot of deaths but a lot of painful injuries, small and not quite as dangerous as what one would get from driving, but that has to be taken in consideration... Understanding doesn't leed to acceptance but to better evaluation of risk, widly diffrent. Saving the 100000th life is not quite the same as saving 100000 lifes. You don't even remember what you said, terrorism is as accepted as large scale natural disater ? Yeah, people were killed "voluntarily" remeber how that changes the perception ? I don't know weather you have a good or bad way with words but this video is missleading and I feel these wrong choises were made voluntarily to help your case.

  89. Exalaxy X

    Exalaxy X2 ditë më parë

    Mahalo my dudes is a good mtb channel

  90. validalready

    validalready2 ditë më parë

    Simple explanation. Mountain bikers are mostly more careful and more experienced in the thing that they want to do and get good at, meanwhile most people are just poor drivers but somehow the government decides to issue them driver's license anyway otherwise people will go on a riot

  91. Astroch

    Astroch2 ditë më parë

    The first example was stupid. My life is all i have so its value is for sure infinite, but by keeping myself at home will kill me. I need to study, work and buy food so i can keep living, so the profit is saving my life, i.e. +infinite.

  92. Jeremy Williams

    Jeremy Williams2 ditë më parë

    So...? Kamchatka? Or Alaska?

  93. 伙伴小伙伴

    伙伴小伙伴2 ditë më parë

    China 💪🇨🇳