Everyone loves a relaxing vacation, but flying can be stressful. Between fear of airplane food and fear of flying in general, many people find the plane ride anything but carefree.
The media is much more likely to focus on large airplane crashes, which makes airplane travel seem far more dangerous. However, if calculated by distance, cars are sixty-two times more dangerous than airplanes. When airplane accidents do occur, they tend to be catastrophic.
Most airline accidents occur during takeoff, climb, descent, and landing. Half of all airline accidents result from pilot error – either by making a mechanical mistake or making a poor decision in regard to the weather conditions. Other causes include birds, cabin fires, air traffic control error, airplane design flaw, fuel starvation and terrorism.
From May 2008 to April 2009, 392 airplane crashes occurred. Of those, only 78 were deemed “fatal” accidents with a total of 140 deaths. From May 2009 to April 2010, 361 airplane crashes were recorded with 72 being fatal accidents resulting in 128 deaths.
Mid-air collisions are incredibly rare. From 2008-2009, only one mid-air collision occurred with no fatalities. During the 2009-2010 time frame, only three accidents involved mid-air collisions with eight fatalities.
Despite all the hype, only twenty-two fatalities result per million hours of flying. This statistic includes all general aviation from small two-seat planes to large six hundred passenger planes. The larger the plane, the safer it may be. One engine planes, cargo planes and propeller planes suffer more accidents than large commercial aircraft.
Some ways to diminish the likelihood of being in an airplane accident are to use direct routes on large planes. Another way to protect oneself in the unlikely event of an airline accident is to sit neat the tail of the plane. According to Popular Mechanics, those passengers are about 40 percent more likely to survive a crash than those in the first few rows.
Poor maintenance and safety in the plane’s cabin can also cause unnecessary injuries. To stay safe from minor injuries, listen to the cabin crew, keep seatbelts buckled while seated and read the plane’s safety instructions. Most importantly, stay calm and try to enjoy the meal.