Are Airlines Safe?

Upon approach to Detroit, a passenger caused a disturbance onboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253. The passenger was subdued immediately and the crew requested that law enforcement meet the flight upon arrival.
How safe are airlines? I was confident airlines were pretty safe but now I'm having my doubts.
How exactly safe are airlines today?

asked by Jasper in Aircraft | 1154 views | 12-27-2009 at 09:07 PM

The government is increasing security at airlines to avoid these kind of attacks.

It's been more than a year and 11 million flights since the last fatal accident involving a major U.S. airline. But in other parts of the world airline safety isn't always a given. If you travel overseas you might find yourself flying an unfamiliar airline, or worse, a name you know because that airline made headline news with a horrific accident.

Last year alone, U.S. airline passengers traveled 798 billion miles. During the same period, Americans traveled about 3 trillion miles in automobiles. Using comparative figures, it has been calculated that the chances of a fatality in driving between Boston and Washington, D.C., is 8.5 times greater than the chances of an airline fatality for that same trip. So there is no question that airline safety still beats driving risks by miles.

Statistics show that on average in the U.S. a person dies in a plane crash for every 4 million flights taken. These are the kind of odds faced in winning the lottery with a single ticket. You are more likely to die from stumbling while walking, an accidental firearms discharge, or suffocating in bed while sleeping than from perishing in a plane crash.

Which Airlines Have the Best Safety Record?

The top eight airlines in the United States (those having more than 2 million flights per year) all have good safety records. Their rank, based on the number of fatal events per million miles traveled, is as follows:

1. Southwest Airlines 0.00 (no fatalities in its history)
2. Delta Airlines 0.17
3. Northwest Airlines 0.21
4. Continental Airlines 0.24
5. US Air 0.28
6. United Airlines 0.31
7. Alaska Airlines 0.33
8. American Airlines 0.40

answered by Milton | 12-27-2009 at 09:09 PM

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