It’s not unusual to ask, “How safe is my airline?” The number of fatalities attributed to air travel has been declining rapidly over the past 30 years.
Considering that the number of flights and passenger miles has increased nearly as quickly, the actual rate of fatalities continues to fall dramatically, by any measure. To simplify the data, there are now approximately three times as many passenger miles flown as there were 30 years ago, but about one half the number of fatalities, on average.
In North America, there was one death from an aircraft crash in 2017.
There are between 30,000 and 35,000 motor vehicle fatalities every year in the United States.
Other common causes of death each year that vastly exceed aviation include:
- 30,000 accidental falls.
- 38,000 unintentional poisoning.
- 16,000 homicides (US).
Even some pretty unusual and remote dangers pose a greater risk than domestic air travel, including:
- 27 deaths from lightning each year.
- 80 deaths per year from tornadoes.
- 17 bear attacks in North America since 2010.
- An average of 19 fatal dog attacks each year in the United States.
Air travel is incredibly safe.
But safety standards differ from country to country. In general, if a plane lands or takes off in the US, Canada, or any European country, and lands in a different country, you’re as safe as you can be.
You can look at airline safety ratings on Airline Ratings website.
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