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The truth about aviation accidents

Is flying getting safer or riskier?

Aircrafts today have many more safety features and alerting systems than they did in the early years of flying. More than three million people travel by plane each day. A Boeing aircraft takes off and lands daily all over the world, every two seconds. It is estimated that the air traffic will increase by almost double in the next 20 years. 
Statistics show that flying is 22% safer than traveling by car. The amount of attention given to a crash is evident enough to prove how rare it is. The same kind of coverage is never given to all the car crashes that take place regularly. Though it may come as a shock, a recent study by the National Safety Council, shows that the number of deaths that occur due to car accidents in only a six month period, is equal to the total number of fatalities caused by the crash of commercial jets worldwide in the last 60 years!

Another study by the Ministry of Housing, Regional Development and the Environment shows that a person has a chance of 1 in 800,000 of getting killed while traveling by an airplane, while a 1 in 6000 chance in case of a car crash. Even after reading these statistics, it can be difficult for some of us to focus on the chance ration of 800,000.

Common causes of commercial jet crashes

Approximately 80% of aircraft accidents occur shortly before take-off or during take-off and landing. 

  • Pilot error
  • Weather
  • Bird strikes
  • Sabotage
  • Terrorism
  • Mechanical failure

Safest seat

Popular opinion is that sitting in the back of the plane is the safest but that is not a hard and fast rule.  Sitting near the emergency exits is considered a prime location too but in reality, any portion of the plane can be vulnerable in an aircraft incident.

Risk-Flying vs. driving

In the United States, it's 22% safer flying in a commercial jet than travelling by car, according to a 1993-95 study by the U.S. National Safety Council comparing accident fatalities per million passenger-miles travelled. The number of U.S. highway deaths in a typical six-month period is about 21,000 which roughly equal all commercial jet fatalities worldwide since the dawn of jet aviation four decades ago. In fact, fewer people have died in commercial airplane accidents in America over the past 60 years than are killed in U.S. auto accidents in a typical three-month period. In 2000, there were 41,800 traffic accident fatalities in the US compared to 878 commercial airplane fatalities that same year.

Be Prepared

It is important to be prepared while flying, in case something unplanned happens. There are many things that air crafts should be equipped with in case of an accident.