The last ten years has seen an enormous improvement in the safety of commercial flying, reports the Associated Press after analyzing government data on aviation accidents.
Ten years ago flying was already scoring record marks for safety, but over the past ten years the safety statistics have improved remarkably. The United States had a total of 153 air accident related fatalities, which comes to two deaths for every 100 million passengers on commercial airline flights. Ten years before that the numbers were ten times higher, but still considered safe.
At the beginning of what is called the ‘jet age’ the chances of death while flying on commercial planes was at its highest; with 1, 696 deaths from 1962 until 1971. That’s 133 out of every 100 million passengers. Terrorist acts were not included in the figures.
The safety of flying is truly astounding, especially if you compare it to an activity almost all of us engage in just about every day- driving. These numbers tell us that people are much more likely to die on their way to the airport than flying across the country. In one year, on average, there are about 30,000 automobile related deaths. That is a mortality rate eight times higher than for flying in planes.
“I wouldn’t say air crashes of passenger airliners are a thing of the past. They’re simply a whole lot more rare than they used to be,”
says Todd Curtis, a former safety engineer with Boeing and director of the Airsafe.com Foundation.