BoeingOnFinal
Topic Author
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Statistics - Flying Vs. Driving

Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:56 am

I've always heard the expression "You're more likely to die on the way to the airport, than on the flight you are about to go on".

Now is this true? Is flying the safest way to travel, statistically?

It is obviously more fatal accidents on the road, but that is because there are 500 million cars in the world. Are there any statistical "proof" of is being safer to travel in the air?
norwegianpilot.blogspot.com
 
jeffry747
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RE: Statistics - Flying Vs. Driving

Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:07 am

If I remember correctly, last year 2.4 billion flew commercially last year. Only 1,292 died in accidents. Now in the U.S. state of Kentucky alone there were almost 900 deaths on the roads last year. Times that by 50 and you have a ballpark figure of the deathtoll for the entire U.S. I don't know the exact figures for US deaths, and I am too lazy to look it up right now. One must also consider that most pilots are highly trained professionals whao know what to do in a situation. In many places a driver's license is too easy to get, and many drivers get behind the wheel with little experience behind them. Sometimes all they have to do is pass a few simple tests. These inexperienced drivers then go out and get their hands on the fastest car thay can find and go out and do stupid stuff to make roads unsafe.

Quoting BoeingOnFinal (Thread starter):
I've always heard the expression "You're more likely to die on the way to the airport, than on the flight you are about to go on".

Back in 1983 I went with my mother, father, and infant brother to IAH to pick up my Aunt and Uncle from a flight outta JFK. Everything had gone smoothly until we pulled up to a stop sign. WHAAAM! Our 1975 Pontiac Grand Prix was struck from behind by a Hertz Rent-A-Car shuttle going about 25-30 mph. Fortunately nobody was hurt and we were actually able to get the car fixed and back on the road, despite the back end having been crushed in.

I am sure there have been those on the way to the airport who suffered far worse fates than what we experienced. Remember the couple whose car was crushed by a tunnel wall on the way to BOS?

I definitely do think that flying is much safer than driving. Statistically, that is.
C'mon Big B, FLY!
 
flymia
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

RE: Statistics - Flying Vs. Driving

Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:56 pm

This site has intresting facts http://www.meretrix.com/~harry/flying/notes/safetyvsdriving.html

flying: 7.46 fatal accidents and 13.1 fatalities per 100M miles
driving: 1.32 fatal accidents and 1.47 fatalities per 100M miles

flying: 11.2 fatal accidents and 19.7 fatalities per million hours
driving: .528 fatal accidents and .588 fatalities per million hours

Fatalities per million trips
on a single trip
Airliner (Part 121) 0.019
Automobile 0.130
Commuter Airline (Part 135 scheduled) 1.72
Commuter Plane (Part 135 - Air taxi on demand) 6.10
General Aviation (Part 91) 13.3
Odds of being killed

Airliner (Part 121) 52.6 million to 1
Automobile 7.6 million to 1
Commuter Airline (Part 135 scheduled) 581,395 to 1
Commuter Plane (Part 135 - Air taxi on demand) 163,934 to 1
General Aviation (Part 91) 73,187 to 1

Here Commuter and GA flying is more dangerous than driving. I dont know how old these stats are though.
http://planecrashinfo.com/cause.htm
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
BoeingOnFinal
Topic Author
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RE: Statistics - Flying Vs. Driving

Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:14 pm

Thank you very much for the detailed answers. It is also kind of logical that flying on an airline is the safest way to travel, because the pilots are highly trained, and do it often. Even though GA pilots are well trained as well, the reason for more fatal accidents there might be the lack of constant reminders of the skill of flying.
And there are more unplanned departures as well, when flying VFR.
norwegianpilot.blogspot.com
 
deskflier
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RE: Statistics - Flying Vs. Driving

Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:08 am

Per mile travelled, walking is one of the most dangerous ways to move.
How can anyone not fly, when we live at a time when we can fly?
 
flymia
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

RE: Statistics - Flying Vs. Driving

Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:01 pm

Quoting FlyMIA (Reply 2):
General Aviation (Part 91) 73,187 to 1

This stat is a little scary, I always thought that even GA flying would be safer. 73,187 to 1 is pretty good odds. I wish the lotto had odds like that. I still planning on GA flying in sometime in the next few years, but this stat is a big reminder on how dangerous flying can be and how you need to be the best pilot possible. Since most crashes are pilot error.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
deskflier
Posts: 525
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:59 pm

RE: Statistics - Flying Vs. Driving

Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:48 am

According to the Swedish Aviation Authority (LFV) 90% of GA accidents are weather related. This might be different in other countries, but should be about the same throughout NW Europe and parts of North America where the weather is subject to sudden change, often to the worse, and where a lot of the weather is non-flyable. Airline and military pilots NEVER fly without first talking with the meteorologist, neither should GA pilots. Better knowledge about weather and what your plane can deal with would go a long way to improve GA safety.
How can anyone not fly, when we live at a time when we can fly?

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