Re: more acceptable to be killed by a human
Ah, but driving without brakes is taught. And, I've put it to use many times, when I've blown either a master cylinder, or a brake line. You tend to remember that emergency brake pretty quickly, as you're aiming for something soft and cheap.
The first time it happened, was as a teenager, as I was pulling into the family driveway, with my dad's new car 30 feet in front of me. I hit the brakes, and the pedal went all the way to the floor, when the master cylinder catastrophically failed (They didn't have redundant cylinders in 1966 models.). Talk about high pucker factor. I did a hard left into the soft dirt of the front yard, and jammed on the emergency brake. It made a royal mess of the lawn, but I didn't crash.
I've subsequently blown the brake lines on my pickup truck, twice, and on the wife's SUV once.
Perhaps the most spectacular incident was when my brother blew the brakes on a 5 ton dump-truck, with an overload of 7 tons of crushed stone in it. Not only did he not wreck it, but he actually made it back to his farm, and dumped the crushed stone where he wanted it, via use of the emergency brake and down shifting the transmission.
P.S. Beer, because, after incidents like those, you need a beer or two.