Record in Recent Years
Improvements in All the Safety Categories
Mile for mile, flying is the safest way to travel. The number of people killed every year in auto accidents far outstrips the number killed in airplane accidents. In 1983, 42,500 Americans died on the nation's highways; 1,155 persons lost their lives in plane accidents. Only 12 were killed in accidents involving commercial airliners.1 The statistics indicate that flying is by far the safest mode of transportation. Yet recent stories of near misses in midair—one of them involving the vice president's plane—raise anew the question of how safe the nation's skies are.
Virtually everyone involved in aviation, including safety experts, agrees that flying in the United States—whether on large commercial airlines, commuter lines, charters or private aircraft—is ...