Both speed and gravity kill and maim and do so at the first hint of opportunity - the idea that driving or climbing are 'safe' is a convenient social delusion and one which comes at a collective annual price and toll.
If you drive 15 miles from central Tucson to La Milagrosa Canyon this weekend, put in 10 laps of sport climbing, and drive back home, your risk of dying is about:
From climbing: 0.003% From driving: 0.030%
This is based on disparate sources and crude data, but you get the idea. Buckle your safety belts and check your knots! Of course, an active lifestyle probably reduces the risk of things like heart disease and depression.
Where I live now I don't drive, but I was in San Diego for Christmas and zipping around the freeways in my mom's car. It was terrifying, at least somewhere deep down in my gut. Not totally unlike the feeling of lead climbing after a long hiatus. But we're generally good at compartmentalizing those feelings and getting on with it.
It was an unfortunate accident on a very busy day; on New Years...nonetheless, I wish him all the best in recovery. Accidents happen and it's unfortunate but true, and there's no data like real world real time data, no amount of lab tests can account for a drugs side effects but stick it in a person's body and you'll get results instantly...this same concept applies to climbing.
And please give the climbing gym a break when saying "they wouldn't let me tie in this way so I gave them a hard time" I see this all too much. The climbing gym has an ass to cover and with the way things work these days it's a big ass so when some teenie sport climber tells you can’t tie in one way remember someone told him to tell you that, and so on and somewhere along the line someone tried to squeeze a penny from one of these persons and so they had to abide by a set of principles that may not be what we’re accustomed too.
Actually when I posted I was thinking those odds are pretty bad. The odds of dying in a car accident are 1 per 100,000 miles. Raise your hand if you've driven at least 100,000 miles.
The world is a dangerous place. But we're programmed to accept those dangers and essentially ignore them. It's probably healthy to get an occasional wake-up call (as the OP did) to keep us vigilant about those dangers we can control. But it's also good to keep relative risks among different activities in perspective.