6 Stats That Will Ease Your Mind About Flying

By: Freelance Contributor

For some people, airports and flying spark excitement and intrigue at the thought of going somewhere new, unfortunately for others it’s quite the opposite. Anxiety takes over, hands get clammy, your mind runs over various scenarios of impending doom. It’s a common problem that for some can mean the difference between flying to a new vacation destination or opting for somewhere within driving distance. One of the best ways to help ease these fears is education so here are 6 stats to hopefully put some of those worries to rest.


6. One in 45 Million

According to a study by MIT, the risk of death from flying on a commercial airline is 1 in 45 million flights. To put this in perspective that would mean a person could fly every day for 123,000 years and still be safe. In comparison the risk of death from cycling is 1 in 4,982, risk of death from riding a motorcycle 1 in 907, and the risk of death from riding in a car is 1 in 415.

airport terminal

5. 2012: The Safest Year in U.S. Flight History

In 2012 there were no fatalities involving any major U.S. airlines. It was also the safest year globally since 1945 with 23 deadly incidents and 1,147 fatalities, which is about half of the same stats for the year 2000. This shows the improvements in safety and precautions in the last decade for this industry. However advocates say it’s important that we continue to enforce strict safety procedures to continue these positive trends rather than focus on historical data.

plane takeoff

4. You’re in the Hands of Highly Trained Professionals

Pilots, co-pilots, flight attendants, air traffic control, pretty much anyone that works in, on or around planes are trained to the utmost standards including intense training and weeks of rigorous testing upon hiring. This testing is then conducted again annually to make sure everyone is up to date with the ever changing regulations and standards of the industry. Other safety regulations include minimum hours logged for training and experience and maximum hours worked for flight crews. Just talk to anyone in the industry and they’ll be happy to talk about all they’re put through in the name of safety.

pilots cockpit

3. 0.003 Fatalities per Million Miles

PolitiFact’s study on travel safety showed that commercial airlines have a rate of 0.003 fatalities per 100 million passenger miles. When compared to other modes of transport like buses (0.05 fatalities per 100 million passenger miles), trains (0.06 fatalities per 100 million passenger miles), and cars (0.54 fatalities per 100 million passenger miles), it’s clear to see that statistically flying is your safest option.

train bus plane


2. Planes are Only Getting Safer

New technology is always being developed for the airline industry. Planes and engines have become more reliable and advance warning and navigation systems are being developed and implemented. This has contributed to a decrease in the types of collisions that were once more common like mid-air collisions or incidents contributed to poor visibility. Think of how fast we see technology changing all around us…well it’s no different for airplanes.

plane safety

1. Don’t Believe the Hype

Media hype that is. It may seem like we’re always hearing about ‘near misses’ in the air or actual plane crashes but this is really mostly due to over sensationalizing it the media. When we think about the number of flights that take place all around the world each day versus the few incidents we hear reported on (extensively) each year, you can really get a feel for how statistically uncommon these incidents really are.

media press