You’re someone who travels a lot. Perhaps you’re drawn to sandy beaches or snowy peaks, or maybe you’ve just landed a job as a traveling consultant. Jet-setter that you are, you settle into your seat, ensure your buckle is low and tight across your lap, and thank the gods your row is infant free. You’re informed your seat may be used as a flotation device. You picture clutching a cushion that’s held a thousand rumps and decide, “No, thanks,” you’ll hedge your bets with the inflatable vest. In this surge of optimism, you wonder whether your plane will meet a fiery end. You wonder whether the recycled air you’re breathing will be your last. You wonder if maybe, just maybe, you’re being a bit dramatic…
Assuaging Fear with a Data Viz
Well, dear reader, let me reassure you. The chances of meeting your end in an aviation accident are dismally low. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, an average of 9.7 million flights were taken per year from 2008-2018 with only about .00001% of those flights ending in tragedy. Additionally, most major airlines reported zero fatal accidents for the same decade (although some accidents did occur).
And while the US may be in the lead for the highest number of crashes, American fliers will be happy to know that it’s Russia who leads the way when it comes to most fatalities. As I write this from 37,000 feet, I find these facts quite comforting. So comforting, in fact, that I think I’ll return to my 45-calorie baggie of pretzels now. Farewell and bon voyage!