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Airline fatalities down in 2013

The Aviation Safety Network has just released its latest research figures into the number of airline accidents across the world in 2013. The data shows that accidents were significantly down on average and the number of fatalities was less than half of the 10 year average.

Airline fatalities fall

The Network records data from commercial airlines and provides useful comparisons with previous years. Full details of the accidents data is available from their site, which also has other interesting information such as passenger safety information.

Airline accidents

The statistics show that there were only 29 fatal commercial aircraft accidents in 2013. Sadly, these resulted in 265 deaths, but when compared to the 10 year average of 720, it was a very good year for air travel.

Air travel is often referred to as one of the safest modes of transport, mainly because it is so highly regulated and the risks involved are minimised. Various reports suggest that you are more likely to be killed on your way to the airport than you are during the flight you take to your holiday destination.

Air travel is the safest?

Sadly, air accidents are often serious because of their very nature, but because of this the culture of caution, reporting and regulation has made it a very safe mode of transport. the same doesn't apply to other transport, for example cars, where driver error, speeding, distractions and other issues affect a journey. Many of these factors are limited, or simply removed during air travel.

The statistics don't show the number of people who get injured during air travel, so it's not possible to draw a comparison to that. However, because aircraft accidents can often be serious, the number of injured survivors can often be low.

Accidents that lead to injury

Accidents do happen much more frequently during routine flights and as a result of incidents, rather than a crash. These lead to people sustaining injury, but the instances of this remain low, which continues to suggest that this is a very safe mode of transport.

Responding to this report, Nolan Mortimer of accidents-abroad.com said:

"It is always sad when there are accidents, especially when they lead to fatalities. However, it is pleasing to see a marked decrease in the number of accidents and death in air travel. I hope that we can maintain these sorts of levels, or even reduce them going forwards. 

The airline industry has always had a good reputation for safety and that shows in the statistics for crashes and major incidents. However, I do think they could do more to avoid accidents on-board during routine flights. We often speak to clients who have been affected by the classic airline accidents such as spilled hit coffee in the lap, or overhead bags falling on heads from the overhead lockers. More training around these hazards would certainly help a lot"

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