Tag: Plane crash

Why Flying Remains The Safest Form Of Traveling Despite Crashes

On April 17, a Southwest Airlines passenger died after being partially sucked out of a plane following a mid-flight engine explosion.

Whenever there is an air crash, questions are raised on how safe it is to fly.

It increases the fear for people who are already afraid of flying. It temporarily makes people who may not be phobic about flying uneasy about flying. And people who already really have difficulty flying — it stops them from flying for a while,” Martin Seif, a clinical psychologist said.

Let’s take the case of what happened in the United States in the aftermath of two aeroplanes colliding into the two towers of the World Trade Centre on 11 September, 2001.

Many Americans took to driving long distances instead of flying.

But was that the right thing to do? As Spyros Makridakis, Robin Hograth and Anil Gaba write in Dance with Chance – Making Your Luck Work for You “In 2001, there were 483 deaths among commercial airline passengers in the USA, about half of them on 9/11.

“Interestingly in 2002, there wasn’t a single one. And in 2003 and 2004 there were only nineteen and eleven fatalities respectively.

“This means that during these three years, a total of thirty airline passengers in America were killed in accidents. In the same period, however, 128,525 people died in US car accidents.”

The authors point out that close to 1600 deaths could have been avoided if people had flown instead of deciding to drive.

The thousands of airplanes which arrive safely at their destination every day hold no media interest. This isn’t news. So even the most logical of us are led to believe that the chance of a passenger dying in an airplane accident is much, much higher than it really is,” write the authors.

Also, car crashes rarely get talked about. “Car crashes, on the other hand, rarely make the headlines… Smaller-scale road accidents occur in large numbers with horrifying regularity, killing hundreds and thousands of people each year worldwide… We just don’t hear about them.

Given these reasons, air travel remains the safest form of travelling, notwithstanding the air crashes that happen now and then.

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