If you must travel, what is the safest way to go?

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Plane crashes, car wrecks, and train derailments are in the news on a very regular basis. It makes the average Joe a little nervous about embarking on a trip, no matter how he intends to get there. So, you have to wonder, what is the safest way to get where you are going?

If you look at the number of fatalities that are travel related, it is easier to get a better understanding of which way would be better to travel.

In 1960 the approximate number of deaths were:

By air-1300

By rail-over 2300.

On the highway-between 35 and 40 thousand.


In 1970 the death toll is:

By air- up to around 1,500

By rail-just under the 2,300 mark.

Highway-around 55,000.

By water-around 1,900.


In 2010 the numbers have all gone down:

By air- around 550.

By rail-between 7 and 8 hundred.

Highway-around 35,000

By water-almost 900.


Although the above numbers are all by year, they don’t tell the whole story at all. It does make flying look like the safest bet. The problem is that it does not tell us how many people are in the air compared to the number of fatalities. The numbers of road fatalities make us all scared to even drive to the corner grocery store, but they don’t tell us how many people are actually on the road compared to those that die.


If you do fly-what is the best place to sit on the airplane?


If you look for info about this question in official places, such as Boeings website or check with the FAA, they will tell you that there is no way to determine what seat is safer than another. One would imagine that if they did have an opinion to the safest seats then those would always be full and least safe seats would never sell on a flight.


Some research suggests that the safest place to be during a plane crash is the back.


20 accidents were studied (specifically the seating charts). The outcome of this study was that people in the back have a 40% higher chance of surviving a crash. All of the seating that was considered to be in the back was behind the wing. The first class area of the plane had a 49% survival rate compared to the 69% in the rear.


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