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2016 Was One of The Best Years for Flight Safety

Lets talk about flight safety.

About 28% of UK travelers are afraid of flying in an aeroplane.

Yet, you are much more likely to die in an automobile crash than you are in an aeroplane crash.

1.3 million people die in road crashes each year.

But only 230 people died in 2016 by aeroplane accidents.

This makes it one of the safest years in civilian aviation history.

Although flight safety is always of concern, aviation is the safest mode of mass transport in the world.

But Air Crashes Are In The News…

We are surrounded by news and information all day every day.

Many people carry around smartphones. And these little ports into the world information network make us more aware.

So, when it comes to aeroplane crashes, we know right away. And we hear about it constantly until another major news story replaces the crash story.

This makes poor flight safety seem like a bigger problem than it actually is.

A flight crash is a big news story because it doesn’t happen very often. And the death toll when a flight crashes is higher than when a car crashes.

But if you’re tuned into your finances, you’ll realize that it’s the little purchases that put you over your budget.

Larger purchases seem more daunting, but it’s the little things you should pay attention to.

Our perception of world fatalities works the same way.

We see a jet crash over the pacific, hear of the many people lost and tune in.

We hear about the search for wreckage for weeks on end. It looms large in our minds.

But what we don’t hear on the news is that thousands of people died in car accidents each day during the coverage of that one flight.

flight safety

Have There Been Better Years For Flight Safety?

Yes. But not many.

The year 2013 beat 2016. Only 188 people died in aeroplane crashes in 2013.

2013 was the best year for flight safety since 1987.

Just looking at numbers of fatalities will not tell you how much safer flight travel is, however.

A rapid increase in flight numbers and globalization in the late 1980s-today would account for the number of fatalities seeming to increase in that time.

Just in one year between 2013 and 2014 the number of flights went up by 2.7%. That’s 100,000 flights a day and millions of people flying.

So, even if your take the worst year in aviation history since 1972: 1179 fatalities.

You’re looking at a very small fraction of flights in a year crashing hard enough to kill passengers.

So, was 2016 the safest year on record? No.

2013 again beat 2016 when all aspects are considered.

But the change in odds of dying was marginal.

In 2013 the odds were 1 out of every 11,501,886 passengers.

And in 2016 the odds increased to 1 in 10,937,500 passengers.

All the odds mentioned involve commercial aircraft designed to carry 14 or more passengers.


Flight safety in the 21st century is better than ever. If you take a look at our live world-wide┬áradar, you’ll be surprised at how many flights are in the air right now.

Do you feel like air travel is safer? Let us know in the comments below.