What Are My Chances of Surviving a Plane Crash?

Plane crashes are very rare, but even if one happens, passengers have a 96% chance of surviving. To illustrate the point, planes crashed a total of 568 times in the United States from 1983 to 2000. A total of 53,487 passengers were on those planes, and 51,207 of those passengers survived.

More facts about plane crashes:

  • For citizens flying on domestic flights in the U.S., the annual chances of becoming a fatality is about one in 11 million. By contrast, the annual chances of dying in an auto accident are 1 in 5,000.

  • The single worst aviation disaster in terms of the loss of life occurred on 11 September 2001. The crash of United Airlines flight 175 and American Airlines flight 11 into the World Trade Center resulted in the deaths of 2,907 people.

  • The first plane crash fatality occurred during the infancy of aviation on 17 September 1908 in Fort Myers, Virginia. The flight was the third in a series of tests to demonstrate the viability of including passengers in flights. The pilot, Orville Wright, was seriously injured, and Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge of the Aerial Experiment Association died in the crash.

More Info: www.pbs.org

Discussion Comments


Funny how some of us (myself included) are so deathly afraid of flying (because of the potential danger of a crash) and yet I put my life in *much* greater danger (e.g., 1 in 11 million for planes, and 1 in 5 thousand for cars) every single day when I spend hours commuting too and from work.

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