Why is flying safer than driving, and why do planes crash?

It certainly seems that flying is not as safe as it seems, since you would never know when a catastrophe may occur on the plane. But when you drive, you are in control of the wheel, although you're not in control of other drivers.

Also, when a plane crashes, it would take away more lives than any other accident, since it would snatch lives from both the plane and sometimes the ground too. You're more likely to die on a plane than a car, if this is true. When a car crashes, wouldn't there be more injuries than death?

The fact that planes crash here and there at some times in the year totally baffles me. It just doesn't make any sense whatsoever that planes crash. I understand why cars crash, always due to driver error, but in planes, there should be no such things as "plane crashes," "pilot error," "Controlled Flight Into Terrain," "Inclement weather causing crashes," "Mid-air collisions", or other factors since pilots are highly trained and the planes are well-maintained.

So why do planes crash, if it's called the safest form of transportation?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Although a few planes crash, it is extremely rare. Crashes happen for many reasons. Even a highly trained person can make mistakes. In extremely bad weather, even a highly trained person cannot fly. Even a well-maintained airplane may sometimes have an unexpected problem. Although automobile drivers can pull over if their car breaks down, airplanes cannot stop in mid-air and must keep going, even the engine stops or they are on fire, until they either land or crash.

    Flying is not the safest form of transportation. Railroad is safer.

    Flying is safer than driving because airplanes crash much less often than cars do.

    In the average month, the number of deaths from automobile crashes in the U.S. is approximately equal to the total death toll from the September 11th attacks (four airplanes plus three buildings). Not including that incident, which was deliberate, the worst two airplane crashes in history involved crashes on the ground, at airports, between airplanes that were taxing or stopped and airplanes that were trying to take off.

    In the average year, the total number of deaths from automobile crashes in the U.S. is approximately 40,000.

    On an average day, the total is more than 100.

    On average, over 1/2 of passengers on commercial flights that crash survive. In many cases, they all survive, sometimes without any injuries.

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  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Most Realistic Flight Sim - http://FlightSimulator.siopu.com/?cIR
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  • LeAnne
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    In a perfect world, with perfect airplanes and perfect pilots, perfect airports and perfect runways, there would be no plane crashes.

    Now back to reality - planes are complex machines and the pilots are human - failures are inevitable. Perhaps it's pilot error or a failed component or system on the plane - either way, a crash may occur.

    You can take solace in the fact that planes are far more scrutinized for safety and proper maintenance and the pilots infinitely better trained than the vast majority of vehicles and drivers on our nation's highways.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The simplest way to measure the safety of any form of transit is to measure deaths or injuries as a ratio to passenger miles traveled.

    For autos the ratio is about 1 death per 30 million miles. For aircraft it is about 1 death for about every 60 billion miles.

    What always amazes me is the way we accept the slaughter on the roads. If the rules were as strict as what we have for aviation the deaths could be reduced drastically.

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