Air Travel is Safer Now Than Ever Before

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air travel safety

Does Air Travel Make You Nervous?

Are you afraid to fly? Does the thought of air travel raise your heart beat? Maybe you just get a bit nervous during take off and landing. Who doesn’t?

Good News!

2017 was the safest year in aviation history.

According to the Aviation Safety Network (ASN), which records all air crashes and incidents reported around the world, there were just 10 fatal accidents involving commercial flights last year, resulting in only 44 deaths.

This is down from 16 fatal accidents and 302 deaths in 2016. Furthermore, none of 2017’s fatalities involved a passenger jet.

In comparison, the National Safety Council estimated that as many as 40,200 people died (in the US) in motor vehicles crashes in 2016 (numbers for 2017 are not out yet).  That is a 6 percent rise from the year before, and the trend continues to go up.

Air Travel is Still Safer than Riding in an Automobile

Here is the math. If there were 36.8 million people who flew last year and only 44 deaths, that equals just one fatal accident for every 7.36 million departures. Pretty good odds, eh?

What was the deadliest year for air travel?

It’s nice that the 70s are over, and not just because disco is dead. The worst year for air travel safety was 1972. It’s even more remarkable and deadly when you consider they had less flights in general back then compared to today.

In 1972 2,469 people died in 55 accidents involving commercial flights. The following year, 1973, saw 2,223 fatalities in 49 crashes.

Air Travel Death Toll By Decade

1970s: 16,766 deaths
1960s: 13,692 deaths
1990s: 12,241 deaths
1980s: 11,558 deaths
1950s: 8,702 deaths
2000s: 8,318 deaths

Thank goodness it has steadily gone down. With only 44 last  year, the numbers are looking for the 2010s decade. Compare that to the steady increase of motor vehicle accidents and deaths on the road and your best best is air travel.

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