How Safe is Flying? Detailed Statistics

I understand that statistics are not enough for you to overcome your fear of flying, but I have to show you some proof to back up everything else I tell you on this website. To overcome your fear you must understand WHY and HOW flying is safe, and this is where this website will really help you

Everybody tells you that flying is statistically safer than almost any other mode of transport. But is this true? YES IT IS! As proof, here are a few statistics and charts;

  • A US National Safety Council study showed flying to be 22 times safer than travelling by car
  • 21,000 people (on average) die on the road in the US in a 6-month period. This is approximately the same amount of all commercial air travel fatalities WORLDWIDE in 40 years
  • More than 3million people fly EVERY DAY.
  • A Boeing aircraft takes off or lands every 2 seconds somewhere in the world – all day, every day!

Below is a chart showing a direct comparison between different modes of transport in the US. As you can see, more people died while riding a bike than on an airliner. These statistics are from 2000;

US Transportation Fatalities 2000 – Source: NTSB

This next chart shows a comparison betweeen the number of airplane accidents and the actual number of departures. You can see how safety has dramatically improved since the early days. This graphic comes from the Boeing Website.

Why Am I Still Nervous?

Many of you will look at these facts, but still believe flying to be unsafe. Despite me telling you that 1 plane in 5 million crashes, the only number you can focus on is the 1.

Try to start analysing risk in everything you do. There is a risk when you cross the road, walk up the stairs, drive a car, or any other activity. Why does flying seem like more of a risk than any of these things?

The answer is usually related to the feeling of having no control. The fear of flying is an emotional response, and it’s this that must be changed.

An expert in dealing with changing your emotional response is Tom Bunn and his SOAR Fear of Flying Program.