Probability of Dying in a Plane Crash

Gabrielle Applebury
airplane crash

Researchers have found the overall probability of dying in a plane crash is about one in 9,821. The probability of a plane crashing is low with an even lower number of fatal crashes.

Chance of Death if Your Plane Crashes

Plane crashes have been declining over the past twenty years as safety features and technology have continued to improve.

Research conducted by Arnold Barnett and a paper written by David Roepik revealed:

  • There were 75 percent fewer crashes in 2013 compared to 2005.
  • Over the periods of 1982 to 1991 compared to 2002 to 2014, both the frequency and death toll due to plane crashes dropped by more than 67 percent.
  • During these periods, the chance of dying due to a plane takeover by criminal or terrorist attacks dropped from 89 percent to 24 percent.
  • The annual chance of dying in a plane crash for the average American is about one in 11 million.

Chance of Plane Having Deadly Crash

A compilation of around 100 international airlines reveals in the past 20 years, each independent airline shows a total of less than five fatal crashes. In thinking about the number of flights that an airline will take each year, this number is incredibly low, especially noting that with each passing year, the number of flights tends to increase.

Airlines With the Highest Number of Deadly Crashes

Looking at this list of airlines, the following are the ones that had the highest total number of fatal crashes over the past 20 years:

  • Russian Airlines had a total of four fatal crashes.
  • Air France KLM had a total of four fatal crashes.
  • American Airlines had a total of five fatal crashes.
  • China Airlines had a total of four fatal crashes.
  • Cubana had a total of four fatal crashes.
  • Iran Air had a total of four fatal crashes.
  • Turkish Airlines had a total of four fatal crashes.

Understanding the Probability of Dying in a Plane Crash

Despite the number of plane crashes being low, and the number of fatal plane crashes being even lower, many people will continue to feel an intense flying phobia. Try to remember that your risk of dying from a plane crash is far lower than your risk of dying in an automobile accident or your risk of dying by choking on a piece of food.

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Probability of Dying in a Plane Crash