What Are The Chances Of A Plane Crashing? – Here’s What You Should Know

Plane Crashing

Last Updated on Nov 2nd, 2023 by Renu Dahiya, 4 comments

Air travel is one of the most popular methods of transportation in the world, especially for passengers traveling long distances. While many travelers have a fear of flying, air travel is actually a safer means of transportation than traveling by car. Yes, it is true! According to reports and statistics, the chances of a plane crashing is much lower than the chances of a car accident. 

Let’s check some more interesting facts and data collected by experts to know what are the chances of getting in a plane crash.  

What Are The Odds Of A Plane Crashing? Is It Very Common?

The odds of a plane crashing are not common – at least not nowadays. A rough estimate of the probability of an airplane going down due to an emergency is about 1 in 11 million, meaning it would take us quite a few lifetimes before actually experiencing a plane crash. That’s a whopping 0.00001% chance that something will go terribly wrong on your flight. 

Your chance of being hurt on your way to the airport is much greater than once you’re on a plane. Just remember that pilots are professionals. They have had years of training and experience. And, almost 95% of plane crashes have survivors, so even if the worst does happen, your odds are not as bad as you might think. 

Plane Crash Statistics 

To know more about how likely is a plane crash, let’s look at the different statistics on airplane crashes which will help you figure out what are the chances of plane crashes – 

Commercial Airplanes Crash Per Year

There are around 12.8 commercial planes crashes per year in the US. And, 28.3 commercial plane crashes per year globally. As per the officials, there is a commercial plane crash every 16.7 million flights. It means for every 1,000,000 flights, 0.06 planes crash. The aviation authorities have implemented strict safety protocols which have reduced plane crashes by roughly 5.3 % per year over the past 20 years. 

Let’s take a look at the number of aviation accidents that happened in the last few years – 

Year Global Commercial Plane Crashes US Commercial Plane Crashes
2010 28 10
2011 29 6
2012 23 11
2013 18 16
2014 29 12
2015 27 16
2016 26 11
2017 30 10
2018 28 5
2019 36 12
2020 10 3
2021 21

Commercial Airline Crashes 

Here are the top 5 commercial airlines with the most crashes and the number of deaths in these crashes – 

Airlines Number of Crashes Number of Deaths
American Airlines 11 858
United Airlines 7 288
Southwest Airlines 3 1
Delta Airlines 2 134
Alaska Airlines 1 88

Number Of Deaths In Airplane Crashes 

There are more than 44,945 flights flying per day in the USA. The average flight holds about 175 passengers. It means that 7,865,675 people fly per day in the USA. Per year, 2.87 billion people fly. There is some overlap from people flying multiple times per year. On average, 548.2 people die per year from commercial flight crashes in the US. That means that your odds of dying in a commercial plane crash are 0.0000191%. Here are some data related to the number of people who die per year from plane crashes – 

Year Number of Deaths
2011 458
2012 438
2013 390
2014 422
2015 378
2016 386
2017 331
2018 379
2019 414
2020 332
2021 176

Airplane Crashes By Aircraft

Take a look at the data based on the aircraft model to let you figure out what type of airplane has had the highest crash rate. 

Aircraft Number of Accidents
Boeing 737 149
Boeing 737 NG/Max 27
Boeing 747 49
Boeing 757 9
Boeing 767 15
Boeing 777 7
Airbus A300 33
Airbus A310 8
Airbus A319 1
Airbus A320 28
Airbus A321 7
Airbus A330 9
Airbus A340 5

Are Private Planes More Dangerous Than Commercial Planes?

Traveling in a private plane is way more dangerous than taking a commercial flight. Officials say that private planes are nearly as deadly as cars. Private plane crashes are frequently associated with celebrities or high-level executives, but they are not nearly as rare as they seem. While the commercial airline industry has improved its accident rate by 80% in the last 15 years, the general aviation industry (which includes private and recreational air travel) has not. 

Private planes are used less frequently as compared to cars, but when we see the statistics on plane safety, private planes may be just as (or even more) dangerous than the leading cause of transportation deaths in the USA i.e. Cars. As per the reports, there are nearly 21 general aviation fatalities per every 2 million hours of private air travel. And, 1.1 death per every 2 million hours of car travel. The data depicts that boarding a private plane is around 19 times more dangerous than getting behind the wheel of a car. Most of these private plane crashes are caused by pilot error and many occur when pilots lose control of their aircraft. 

Comparisons Of The Safety Of Plane Travel With Other Dangers

There is a multitude of other experiences in life that you likely never think twice about. It turns out that they are more dangerous than traveling in a plane. These dangers are not meant to make you feel anxious about them. Instead, they are meant to show you how unfounded your worries about flying really are! So, just check out these facts and repeat them to yourself when you start to worry about what will happen on your next flight. And, how likely is it for a plane to crash? 

  • Your odds of being killed in an automobile accident are 1 in 5000 which means that your drive to the airport is more dangerous than actually flying in a plane. So, the next time you make the drive to the airport, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. Remember you have just made it through the most dangerous part of your flight. 
  • You have a higher chance of dying of food poisoning than in a plane crash, at 1 in 3 million. Funny, right? But it’s a fact!
  • You also have a better chance of dying of a snake bite, getting hit by lightning, dying of scalding in hot water, or falling off your bed. And, if you’re left-handed, it’s riskier to use right-handed equipment than it is to die in an airplane crash. The fact of the matter is that flying in a plane is really, really safe. By far, it is the safest mode of transportation. 

Conclusion 

Many of us have heard that flying in a plane is exceptionally safe, but if you have a fear of traveling in an airplane, you need more than other people’s words of reassurance to build your confidence in flying. You need to go through the airplane safety statistics firsthand. Because we all know that there is something incredibly comforting about seeing hard data, whether you are planning to book domestic flights or long-hours international flights (such as Chicago to Delhi flights), you will land safely. According to aviation officials, flying is the safest form of transportation to date. It beats traveling by car, train, bus, ferry, and motorcycle by a long shot. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why don’t airlines supply parachutes to passengers? 

A: Commercial aircraft do not carry parachutes because using parachutes requires skills and extensive training that most people on a commercial aircraft do not have. It is not that easy to use a parachute.

Q: Can turbulence cause a plane crash?

A: Turbulence is a rapid change in the speed or pressure of a fluid. It can cause aircraft to drop in altitude and make a lot of noise. It’s rare for turbulence to be powerful enough to actually create a chance of a plane crash, but it can cause injuries. 

Q: What is the safest part of the plane?

A: The safest part of the plane is the rear cabin. It is made of stronger material than the front cabin, further from the point of impact, and equipped with safety features like reinforced walls and stronger seatbelts. 

Q: What are the odds of being in a plane crash? 

A: According to the officials, the odds of an airplane crashing are 1 in 11 million. It means flying in a plane is much safer than traveling in a car. 

Q: Which airline has never had a crash? 

A: While minor accidents are common with every airline, Hawaiian Airlines has never had a major crash involving fatalities.

Q: Can you actually survive a plane crash?

A: According to a report analyzing aircraft accidents from 1980 to 2020, the officials found that the survival rate of crashes was 96% approximately. Catastrophic plane crashes that involve loss of life are extremely rare i.e., 1 in 19.8 million if you fly with airlines with a good safety record. 

Q: How much safer is flying in a plane than traveling in a car?

A: According to the reports, the fatality rate for commercial flights in the US is 0.07 deaths per 100M miles flown and driving is 1.18 deaths per 100M miles driven. It depicts that your chance of dying is 1, 686% higher in a car than in a commercial airline. 

Once you get the facts and statistics related to the odds of a plane crash, you will surely be able to begin trusting that flying is super safe. And, we hope that this informational blog has helped you in clearing all your doubts. If you have any further questions, you can ask us in the comments below. Our travel experts at MyTicketsToIndia, resolve all your queries at the earliest.

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About Renu Dahiya | View Posts

Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.

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  1. P. Muthal says:

    Now days travel is more safer than earlier. Very well explained

    1. Renu Dahiya says:

      Hello Muthal ji,

      Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. Your kind words are greatly appreciated and serve as motivation to continue delivering informative blogs like this. Please keep an eye on our website. If you ever have any questions or travel-related concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our dedicated team is here to assist you with the best options and advice. You can contact us at +1-585-895-2226 or join our live chat. 🙂

      Warm Regards,
      Team MyTicketsToIndia

  2. Geoff says:

    KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have never had a crash. Look up the Tenerife Disaster.

    1. Renu Dahiya says:

      Hello Geoff,

      Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and for sharing your insights. We truly appreciate your dedication to the topic. You’re absolutely right, and we apologize for any oversight. We have updated the information in the blog to reflect accurate and comprehensive details.

      If you have anything else to share or have any travel-related queries, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We’re here to assist you and provide you with the best solutions.

      Warm Regards,
      Team MyTicketsToIndia

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