With so many unknowns it's hard to feel as though you're in enough control of the situation to feel safe.
Exactly. A great example of cognitive dissonance. Specifically, Illusion of Control.
For example, flying is safer than driving a car. Expect that when you drive you have control over the vehicle, having more control reduces the perception of risk, ergo we demand higher safety standards for flying.
It is about perception of risk, not actual risk.