The Numbers Regarding Aviation Accidents
There is a popular idea that riding a plane is safer than being in a car. Few people, however, know if this is actually true, or just something people say for those with a fear of flying (aerophobia if it is pathological, which will take more than some flippant statement to overcome!). Statistically, though, it appears that this statement has some truth to it.
Government agencies concerned with compiling and analyzing accident statistics calculate that the number of motor vehicle accident fatalities over 100 million miles traveled is 1.27 with about 80 injuries, while it is nearly zero for aviation accident fatalities and zero injuries for the equivalent miles traveled. To put it in more concrete terms, 5 million motor accidents occurred in 2008, compared to 20 aviation accidents in the same year.
It’s in the numbers
But of course, you probably won’t walk away from a plane crash if you are unlucky enough to be in one. A plane crash is probably going to be fatal unless the pilot is very good or very lucky. Statistically, though, the chances of dying in an aviation accident for the average person in a lifetime are 1 in 7,178, while in a motor accident it is 1 in 98.
You could argue that it is because you are more frequently in a car than a plane (unless you’re part of a flight crew) so that skews the numbers in the favor of air travel. That is precisely why statistics is cold comfort when you are pushed back on your seat as the plane takes off, and you are white-knuckled gripping the arms of your seat.
Just in case…
For aviation accidents that do happen, the most common causes are human error (68%) and equipment failure (18%), with the remaining (14%) attributed to “no apparent reason.” In the statistically unlikely event that you or someone you know are injured or die in an aviation accident due to human error or equipment failure, there may be a case for personal injury compensation. You will need to pick the brains of experienced personal injury lawyers like Clawson & Staubes to find out if your claim has merit, and if you do, to get advice on what you need to file a claim and against whom. In the meantime, keep flying. Lightning rarely strikes twice (knock on wood).