Is air travel really that safe?

LinkedIn stuffy🐷
Mar 20 20 Comments

Looks like air travel is 3 times riskier than car travel if we use the deaths per journey number. It is riskier than Bus and comparable to Rails if we use the deaths per hour.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_safety

Edit:
I mean air travel is safe. But it is misleading to say it is the SAFEST mode of transportation.

Is air travel really that safe?

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TOP 20 Comments
  • New 500k
    Reference please. Seems like it's saying 30 death / billion hours
    Mar 20 5
    • LinkedIn stuffy🐷
      OP
      But then we should know that on average, you are 3 times more likely to die when you board an airplane vs driving to work.
      Mar 20
    • New 500k
      Statistics doesn't work that way
      Mar 20
    • LinkedIn stuffy🐷
      OP
      That’s what the industry likes to tell you though. They say air travel is hundreds of times safer than car travel.

      How would you interpret the statistic of 117 deaths per billion journey by air vs 40 deaths per billion journey by car?
      Mar 20
    • New 500k
      Cause in one journey aeroplane takes hundreds of people, whereas in car it's atmost 5.
      Mar 20
    • LinkedIn stuffy🐷
      OP
      I looked into the numbers and the journey means person-journey. This means that one plane accident with 117 people dead is 117 deaths per 117 journey. 40 people dead in 8 car accidents (5 people inside each) is 40 death per 40 journey.

      So a journey to ride a plane to visit relatives (a typical plane ride) really is 3 times more deadly than a journey from home to office (a typical car ride).
      Mar 20
  • IBM modelx
    This is the chart that airlines don't want you to see. Of course per hour and per km will be low, since accidents usually happen at the beginning or at the end. A 14 hour flight isn't significantly more dangerous than a 1 hour one (in fact it's probably safer on average since the longer flight is a widebody and with the seniormost pilots of the airline).

    However, if you look at per journeys, it's exactly where you'd expect it to be. More dangerous than all motorized ground-based transport.

    That being said it's not a significant risk since most people don't fly often.
    Mar 20 3
    • Amazon / Creative 403
      I don't like this. I spend 2-3 days in a week in an airplane. Fuck!
      *goes to google this shit*
      Mar 20
    • 403.. human not found
      Mar 20
    • Amazon / Creative 403
      That's 404. I'm just forbidden 😉
      Mar 20
  • Microsoft AwXF00
    How many trips does an average person make by car vs. airplane per year?
    How many hours does an average person spend on a bus vs airplane per year?
    Mar 20 4
    • LinkedIn stuffy🐷
      OP
      Probably hundreds of trips by car and a couple trips by air.

      The point is that those a couple trips by air probably cover more distance than the hundreds of trips by car. However, is it fair to say air is 100 times safer than car because it travels so far and so quickly?
      Mar 20
    • Microsoft AwXF00
      So, let's say a billion of people take hundreds of billion of trips by car per year, say a modest 200B, and a couple of billion of trips by air, say 4B.
      So 8000 (40 deaths per billion * 200 billion) will die in a car accident, and 468 (117 * 4) in an airplane crash.
      468 < 8000, so which is safer? In other words, would you rather make 200 trips by car or 4 by air?
      Same logic applies to number of hours traveled.
      Convert to micromorts of you prefer.
      Mar 20
    • LinkedIn stuffy🐷
      OP
      Well, I am not sure what your point is.

      Do you think horse-back travel is safer than car travel? I believe there were exactly 0 deaths in horse-back travel in the year 2018 while there were about 33K deaths from car travel in the US.

      You could also look at space travel, which is safer than walking using the per-km traveled. There were only a dozen people ever died from space travel in history. But it is obviously a dangerous endeavor.

      You can’t say a mode of transportation is safer by merely looking at the number of deaths. If people make as many trips on airplanes as they make on cars then the number of air travel fatalities will be very significant.
      Mar 20
    • Microsoft AwXF00
      I'm taking from risk exposure point of view.
      Also, I wouldn't assume that these numbers will scale linearly as number of trips/hours change. It doesn't mean that someone who makes twice as many trips is 4 times more likely to die than sometime who makes twice as fewer.
      Mar 20
  • Jet.com / Other
    gtfoorgtfo

    Jet.com Other

    PRE
    Starbucks
    gtfoorgtfomore
    Don’t space shuttle to work, that’s it
    Mar 20 0
  • Bloomberg / Eng iVX372
    This graph is highly misleading. The average flight "journey" contains hundreds of passengers, whereas the average car journey contains <2 passengers. Thus if the fatal crash per journey rate of airplanes and cars were exactly the same, the deaths per journey of passenger aircraft would be ~100x that of cars, since there are roughly 100x as many passengers per journey. In reality, the number is only 3x higher, so the fatal crash per journey rate of cars is 33x higher than that of passenger aircraft, assuming the passenger ratio of 100 per flight : 1 per car trip.
    Mar 20 2
    • LinkedIn stuffy🐷
      OP
      As I mentioned previously, the journey is person-journey. The hour is person-hour and the mile is person-mile.

      So 100 people died in one plane is 100 deaths per 100 journey.
      Mar 20
    • Bloomberg / Eng iVX372
      That isn't explicitly stated anywhere in the Wikipedia entry but sounds about right, based on the 2016 figure of 325 deaths per 3.696 billion worldwide passenger journeys. (87.93 ~ 117)
      Mar 20
  • 🐷
    Mar 20 0