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Old 6th Sep 2005, 13:25   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Oslo, Norway
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Question Safest form of travel?

Is flying really the safest form of travel as everybody insists it is? Apparently, statistically speaking, it is the safest form of travel beyond a doubt but I don't know if I buy it. I think there are statistics to prove it both ways, safest or not, depending on how you look at it.

A recent BBC news article stated that there are 1.96 million flights taking off and landing each year worldwide. Now, lets say we have 10 fatal crashes in a given year. That means 1 in 196,000 flights will crash in a given year, no?
Now lets take Los Angeles as a random example... lets say 1.96 million people in LA get into their cars every day and drive to work... are there 10 fatal car crashes every single day in LA alone?

Just looking for some interesting feedback and discussion on this topic.

Disclaimer: It is not my intention to offend anyone with this post and I am not arguing the point one way or the other.
PanPanYourself is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2005, 13:33   #2 (permalink)
 
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Just look on Google!

The World Bank, DFID (UK) and TRL agreed jointly to fund a study in order to assist the GRSP to define as best as possible the magnitude of the road safety problem

Using published data as a base, the study estimates that in1999 between 750,000 and 880,000 people may die as a result of road crashes and that the majority of these deaths are occurring in the LMC regions, with approximately half in Asia-Pacific. This compares with a recent estimate by the World Health Organisation of over a million deaths in 1998.

Road fatalities, whether 750,000 each year or in excess of 1 million are still a leading cause of death and available data sources show that they are an even greater cause of premature mortality. Road fatalities are expected to continue to increase with a fatality toll between 900 thousand and 1.1 million in 2010 and reach between 1.1 million and 1.3 million in 2020.

Still think driving is safe???
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 13:47   #3 (permalink)
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1.96 million flights per year seems a bit of an understatement. There are at least 3000 737's and 2000 A319/20/21. Even discounting any other aircraft flying thats only 1 sector per day per aircraft, dont think so.
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 13:47   #4 (permalink)
 
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So what is the ratio Fatalities/Passenger Journey (car)
and
Fatalities/Passenger Journey (Flying Machine) ?
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 13:53   #5 (permalink)
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just checked, and there were over 2 million air transport movements in the UK alone last year. BBC need new researchers.


These are European commision statistics for 2001.

Table 2: Fatality rates for different passenger transport modes
Unit: Fatality rate (persons killed per billion passenger-km)
Mode Fatality rate
Motorcycle/moped 16
Foot 7.5
Cycle 6.3
Car 0.8
Bus and coach 0.08
All road use 1.1
Ferry 0.33
Air (public transport) 0.08
Rail 0.04

This is obviously one of the safest parts of the world, Africa and Asia rates are higher, but they are most ikely similarly dangerous to drive/walk etc in.
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 14:02   #6 (permalink)
 
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My mistake. The article was not so recent and it was flights taking off and/or landing in the UK alone, not worldwide.

sorry about that.
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 14:02   #7 (permalink)
 
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I depends if you look at it per mile, per hour, per journey or per lifetime. The numbers will vary.

I think statistically, per journey and per hour, the lift (or elevator) is the safest form of mechanical transport.
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 14:16   #8 (permalink)
 
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Air accidents are often quoted per flying hour flown but in truth most accidents occur on takeoff or landing so to be accurate accidents should be quoted per takeoff as this usually includes at least one landing!!
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 14:25   #9 (permalink)
 
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THese statistics are a few years old and show fatalities per traveller per billion km, journeys or hours:

per km

Air: 0.05
Rail: 0.6
Car: 3.1

per journey:

Rail: 20
Car: 40
Air: 117

per time:

Rail: 30
Air: 30.8
Car: 130

Full Data
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 14:42   #10 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
BBC need new researchers.
The reference was paraphrased...I bet the article said differently.
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 14:42   #11 (permalink)
 
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Seems like selling my motorbike was a good move whichever way you look at it.
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 15:06   #12 (permalink)
 
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I think (if my memory serves me well) that a person could fly for a million miles before there is a statistical probability that they might be killed or injured in a plane crash.

What I can't get my 'head around' is the person who's on their first flight, and sits next to the one who's just 'clocked' up their million miles of flying?
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 15:15   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
What I can't get my 'head around' is the person who's on their first flight, and sits next to the one who's just 'clocked' up their million miles of flying?
Both the same chance, just as someone who's entered the lottery 14,000,000 times and failed to win has exactly the same chance of winning on his next ticket as someone who has just bought his first ever one.
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 15:15   #14 (permalink)
 
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Safety statistics usually compare death/injury rates per passenger kilometre, but this is a bit misleading, because pax wouldn't make the type of long journeys they make by plane if they had to travel by any other mode of transport.

For example, you can't compare safety for a holiday flight from the UK to Florida with the same journey by car. People travelling by car on holiday would go to nearby countries. So although the pax risk of death/injury per kilometre is much lower by air, total risk of death/injury may not be so different.
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 15:25   #15 (permalink)
 
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If I read those figures above correctly. Air travel rates no better than bus/coach? (0.08) and twice as bad as rail(0.04). That really surprises me.
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 15:50   #16 (permalink)
 
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Looking at the set of statistics that I found earlier, the bus and coach figures in the previously quoted statistics might have an extra 0 to many (i.e one order of magnitude too small).
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 15:57   #17 (permalink)
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Bear in mind it will be including things like North sea helicopters, and public transport GA, not just airliners.
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 16:26   #18 (permalink)
 
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One major company has (had??) a policy restricting the number of senior officers who could fly on one flight. For lesser officers and managers, a larger number was permitted. Finally the lowest-ranked had a still larger number.

But no such restriction was placed on bus, rail, or boat travel.

And this company was in the (ahem) aviation business...

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Old 6th Sep 2005, 16:35   #19 (permalink)
 
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Per so-many departures is the only way to evaluate it. Fatal events per 100,000 departures is what you are looking for.

Just guessing, I'd say horses and hang-gliders are the best way to not get there.
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Old 6th Sep 2005, 16:51   #20 (permalink)
 
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>>One major company has (had??) a policy restricting the number of senior officers who could fly on one flight. For lesser officers and managers, a larger number was permitted. Finally the lowest-ranked had a still larger number.
>>But no such restriction was placed on bus, rail, or boat travel.

Logical, as air-incidents, though rare, are frequently total losses, whereas the other travel methods rarely invoke mass demise. It's called not putting all your bags in one exit. They aren't prohibiting air-travel per se.
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