Airplanes Are Still the Safest Way to Travel

They are much safer than cars

Despite a relatively large number of high-profile plane crashes taking place over the last months, statistically speaking, traveling by air is still the safest way of getting from point A to point B, hundreds or thousands of miles away. Large, commercial aircraft, especially, are best equipped to handle large number of passengers, and a quick look at statistics shows that these airplanes are a lot safer than, say, driving. Since the early 1990s, a significant rise in safety trends has been recorded in the United States and around the world, and that trend apparently continues to progress to this day as well.

For instance, in 2008, US statistics show 0.2 fatal accidents per 1 million departures, which is considerably better than 1989's numbers, of 1.4 per 1 million departures. Overall, despite fluctuations recorded over the years, the safety trend seems to be continuing steadily on an ascending curve. Conversely, as far as automobile statistics go, the numbers are getting increasingly worse. Over the past two decades, more and more people have began ignoring circulation rules, driving too fast, and without paying attention.


Mobile phones and alcohol are the main causes for car crashes, and they both were entirely erased by air companies. Pilots do not drink before flying, nor do they use devices in the flight cabin that may distract their attention from the instruments. Alexandria, Va-based nonprofit Flight Safety Foundation, through its representative Bill Voss, announced that the last ten years saw “a remarkable decrease in accidents globally,” LiveScience reports.


Out of the 10.8 million flights that took off in 2007 and 2008, only 28 accidents involving large commercial carriers took place each year. In these two years, commuter agencies in the US reported no human casualties, despite the fact that material damage existed. Worldwide, the number of people who died was smaller than in previous years. In 2007, more than 44,000 people got killed in the US on account of car accidents.

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