If you have kept up with the news, you may have noticed some apparently worrying trends in aircraft safety. The mysterious disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 in March set off a series of aviation disasters that have made 2014 the deadliest year in for civilian aviation for a while. This incident was followed by the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH17 over Ukraine’s eastern conflict zone. Crashes of Transasia Airways Flight GE 222, Air Algerie Flight AH5017 and Iran-140 Sepahan Air passenger followed. The year wrapped up with the disappearance of AirAsia flight QZ8501, the debris of which was later discovered in the ocean near Borneo.
For many travelers, these tragedies have illustrated the worst fears that we have about air travel. While these crashes have been concentrated almost exclusively in Asian airspace, many people have expressed worries about flying here in Chicago and in the United States. Despite these highly public tragedies, aviation safety data reveals that air travel is by many measures actually the safest it has been in the history of aviation.
Air Travel Still Generally Safe
According to the Aviation Safety Network, the number of commercial air departures has tripled from between 1970 and 2010, yet despite that increase, the number of aviation accidents has dropped drastically. In fact, even with the increased incidents in 2014, the probability of getting killed in a car accident while driving to or from the airport is more than 20 times higher than the likelihood of a fatal aviation accident. Many airlines attribute concerns of aviation safety to increased media reporting of aviation disasters, which has gone up by almost 2,000 percent in the last 20 years, despite a drop in the actual number of incidents by about 75 percent.
Still, the aviation accidents last year have reveled some safety areas that could be improved upon. The shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH17 over Ukraine alerted the public to the potentially dangerous practice of commercial air travel over conflict zones. A proliferation of sophisticated weaponry in the hands of untrained military elements has led to incidents where planes can be shot down before they are properly identified. Airlines will now have to reconsider rerouting flight plans away from conflict regions.
Another potential worry with aviation is that some newer airlines are not as well trained on proper safety procedures. Some lack the quality technology and training needed to prevent accidents in risky situations. As a traveler, the easiest way to prevent becoming a victim of these types of tragedies is to choose established airlines with a good track record. While there is no way to be 100 percent sure that you will not be in a crash, if you feel comfortable driving, you should feel even safer on a plane.
If you have been injured in a small plane crash or private aviation accident, you may have a claim. Contact us at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation today.