Why is it safer to travel by air than by land?

Why is it safer to travel by air than by land?

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Why is it safer to travel by air than by land? From safe air travel tips to air travel safety briefings during flights, it could be easily deduced that it is indeed a safer mode of transportation, despite being thousands of feet in the air. Still not convinced? Here are some reasons to persuade you to think otherwise.

Airplane Design

The world’s commercial airliners have accumulated an estimated number of one billion flight hours which provided the airline industry with records and a steady stream of information that is used to constantly improve the design of airplanes and engines. Today, manufacturers know what happens in the real flight scenario, which prompts refinements that may make a genuine difference in safety and design.

Airline technology

Compared with your car’s latest technology, airline technology makes motor vehicles look like vessels from the Stone Age in comparison as technology on airplanes controls almost the entire flight. For instance, planes can detect turbulence and can predict the general behavior of the turbulence. Also, runway safety technology communicates between planes to warn pilots if there may be another incoming plane. These technological improvements control all aspects of flying and the responsibility of a pilot to steer a plane is almost obsolete. Most planes today feature electronic controls that have replaced outdated mechanical controls.

Rigorous pilot training

Pilots go through rigorous training and certification processes. Many pilots are retired members of the Air Force plus, one must go to flight school and receive a pilot’s license. Most airline companies also require pilots to attend at least 2 years of college.

Air traffic control

The pilots and the airplanes may be the stars of the show in commercial aviation, but behind the scenes, a sophisticated air traffic system is one where airplanes guided by GPS will fly self-programmed routes, communicating with each other and with the ground. This is very different from the days when maps, blackboards, and pencil and paper calculations were used to direct airplanes. Hazards such as challenging terrain, low visibility, bad weather will no longer cause chaos.

Crash rate: Air vs Land transportation

In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US found there were 1.27 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. In the same year, the equivalent aviation data, compiled by the National Transportation Safety Board could report only 20 accidents for U.S. air carriers operating scheduled service. While plane crashes are often highlighted by the media, the occurrence is extremely rare.

Why is it safer to travel by air than by land?

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