>"I suspect that reckless behavior is fairly uniformly distributed among climbers, backpackers and hikers. "
Not in my experience. True, not all rock climbers are safety conscious, but as a group, they consider it much more than day hikers. Backpackers are all over the map, but people who are putting as much thought into it as BPLers do, more intentionally accept the risks rather than being surprised liked a newbie when something happens.
Yes, reading Eric's links does leave me feeling like the rubber-necker at the hideous roadside accident, but I agree with him that within tighter-knit communities, there is value in reviewing accidents. Each year I was caving seriously, I'd read ALL of "American Caving Accidents 19XX" to glean what I could from those mishaps. If there was more than one or two fatal dry-air, non-Boy-Scout fatalities in a year, the caving community would collective wring its hands and ponder if something fundamental needed to change. (whereas 6 caving-diving deaths in that much smaller group was the norm. And a scoutmaster taking a group into a wet cave during a monsoon rain was as tragically common as it was uneducational).
But many of these posts are so un-BPL as to be a different activity entirely. Someone who knows the weight in grams of every item in their pack for a multi-night or thru-hike, isn't behaving at all like the day hiker in shorts and flip-flops starting out as the thunderclouds are forming.
I think we had a thread on "close calls". That's the most useful kind of info because the person (1) was engaged in our own style of backpacking, (2) typically changed their behavior/gear in some way as a result, (3) there is an eye-witness report, unlike in fatalities.