What Is The Safest Way To Travel – By Plane, Car, Train… Space Shuttle?
Truth is, all three are pretty safe out of nine different modes of transportation which include motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, trains, automobiles, buses, ferries and even walking and the space shuttle! Below is a survey of the nine methods I just mentioned ranked in order of least safe to most safe for every billion miles traveled and the results are extremely surprising! Much of it This flies in the face of what our logical 'common sense' would tell us but numbers don't lie...
125 deaths per billion miles - Motorcycles account for 1% of road traffic but account for 20% of road-fatalities! But, that equals 1 in every 800,000 miles traveled.
41 deaths per billion miles - 453 people died last year while footing it to wherever they were going. This blows my mind. Probably got hit by one of the 'safer' modes of transportation...
35 deaths per billion miles - 122 people lost their lives last year while biking and we're not talking about the high-flying bmx x-games kinda stunts either... Turns out almost all of these fatalities came when our #4 mode of travel collided with them.
20 deaths per billion miles - Crazy, this is actually the least safe mode of public transportation believe it or not, never even would've thought to include it in a survey much less ask about how safe this one is but there you have it.
The Space Shuttle
7 deaths per billion miles - We can all remember fatal shuttle disasters and where we were and what we were doing when they happened because they are so rare, but only 18 out of the 530 people that have even been on one have died. This one would seem to be the most dangerous of them all, but only rolls in right in the middle of the field at #5.
4 deaths per billion miles. Around 5 people a day die in cars and some 883 people met their maker last year while driving or being driven in the most dangerous form of transportation, but it still rolls in at the 4th safest (I know, weird.) given the improvements to car design and other safety measures.
0.5 deaths per billion miles - There were 475 deaths last year in only 23 plane crashes worldwide, the least deaths since 1945!! You have a 1-in-45 million chance of dying on an airplane. You're more likely to get attacked by a shark, struck by lightning, become a billionaire or become President of this great nation than you are to become an airplane fatality. Not a single person has died in an airplane crash in the U.S. in the last four years, that's 40 million flights without incident. However, for all of us light aircraft people, the odds of us becoming a statistic are far greater than those of you that travel on commercial flights.
0.5 deaths per billion miles - And that's WITHOUT a bomb on board and Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock driving you to eventual safety!
0.2 deaths per billion miles - This is the safest mode of transportation period. Around one rail passenger every other year finds themselves on the wrong end of the tracks believe it or not. Still blows my mind that this is safer than walking much less taking a ride in the Space Shuttle! Kinda makes sense when you consider a pedestrian going up against any of the modes of transportation mono-e-mono. We don't stand a chance.
My advice, be as safe as possible but don't forget to just live. Don't let paranoia rob you of experiences that will most likely not spell your demise. Heck, given these numbers you shouldn't even walk anywhere! But let's just live and when our number's up, it's up and hopefully it'll be by some other way than these kinds of tragedies.