Passengers believe that airlines have their best interests in mind when they board a flight. However, this is not always the case. Each year, countless people are injured or die in airline accidents across the globe. Since the rise of commercial flights in the 1930s, an average of 1,500 will die while up to 5,000 will be injured.
The majority of airline accidents have become so common they rarely hit the front page of the newspaper or the evening news. In fact, the vast majority of airline accidents are never reported to the general public anymore. With so little attention on the safety of flights, many travelers board a fight under the impression that it is crash proof.
While many fear the actual process of flying, statistics have shown that 94% of plane accidents occur during take-off and landing. These accidents amount to 88% of fatalities. Another 4% of accidents occur while the plane is in cruising mode and accounts for 12% of all flight fatalities. These figures have been provided by the ‘Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents, Boeing‘.
However, it has been recently reported that an astonishing 60% of all airline fatalities are due to pilot and flight crew error. These figures account for only regular commercial airline flights, not private planes and military grade.
For the past 95 years, the number of airline crashes has remained at a steady pace. Throughout this time, the percentage of deaths and accidents have remained average. Despite all of the technological advances, the number of fatalities and accidents per hundred flights has not wavered.
The question that needs to be asked is what is the likelihood of being involved in a plane crash? The OAGback Aviation Solutions & Plane Crash Info accident database, 1988 – 2007 reports the following:
The chances of an individual being on a flight with at least one fatality is 1 in 3.3 million. This number assumes that one is traveling on a variety of airlines with varying degrees of safety records. According to these studies an estimated 1 in 4 of these accidents will leave a large number of individuals with injuries. many times these injuries are life-long and effect the overall quality of life.
There is always a general comparison that you are more likely to die in an automobile accident than from a plane crash. However, these claims are often unfounded as the statistics will differ per country. For example, in the United States there is an average of 6 million car accidents that produce 40,000 fatalities a year.
If one was to compare the actual number of journeys as opposed to miles traveled, the average person is 12 times more likely to be involved in a fatal aircraft accident as opposed to a fatal car accident. Despite that general statement, air traffic is much more dangerous than automobile travel.
It is important for the airline traveler to know what they have to do in an emergency situation. There are steps that can be researched that will help to protect the average person in the event of an airline crash. Knowing these precautions have the potential to protect from injuries and quite possibly save a human life.