Is flying really safer than driving?

Last updated 13:18 14/08/2014
Craig Abraham

IS IT SAFE? There are many things that result in more deaths each year than flying on a commercial aircraft.

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It's a question a lot of people are asking. Is flying really safer than driving?

It depends what yardstick you use. Gauged by the number of fatalities per kilometre, flying wins out by a long way, and that’s the measure the aviation industry prefers to apply.

However, if you measure fatalities against the number of passengers transported or by the number of hours spent travelling, buses and trains are both safer options.

By any benchmark you might apply however, travelling aboard a commercial aircraft is still far less hazardous than riding in a car, riding a bicycle or walking along the street.

Lightning strikes, flu, falling out of bed and being attacked by hippos result in many more deaths each year than flying on a commercial aircraft.

By far the most dangerous form of transport is riding a motorbike.

In the travel context, anyone who hires a motorbike in Bali or Cambodia, rides without a helmet or any other protective gear and has a beer or two for the road is several thousand times more likely to come to grief than anyone boarding an aircraft.

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