Fact: Death by lightning or shark more likely than a plane crash

2017 was officially the safest year for aviation on record. Source: Unsplash.

AIRLINE safety is constantly improving and evolving, but this alone doesn’t suffice as a nerve-calmer for anxious flyers.

Often, nervous flyers are told “you’re more likely to be struck by lightning or eaten by a shark than die in a plane crash”, but when you’re up in the skies those generic sayings don’t help.

However, these new statistics could help turn a journey of sweaty palms and wide-eyed stares into a peaceful voyage.

New data has confirmed that 2017 saw less commercial aviation incidences than in 2016. The figures of fatal aviation crashes continued to fall throughout last year and into 2018.

The new stats have been released by International Air Transport Association (IATA) who represent, lead and serve the airline industry in terms of aviation safety.

The association represents 280 of the world’s airlines which accounts for 83 percent of total air traffic. Part of the role it plays in the aviation industry is helping to formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues.

According to this report, the total accident rate per one million flights last year was 1.08, down from 1.68 in 2016, and 2.01 for the previous five-year period between 2012 and 2016.

To put this into relatable terms, the stats show that 4.1 billion travelers flew without any safety hiccups in 2017. This figure tallies 41.8 million flights which took off and landed without a safety glitch last year.

The aviation fatalities which did occur in 2017 and are accounted for in the report did not involve commercial jets, but instead a turboprop aircraft and a cargo plane.

This recent report backs up statistics released earlier this year by Dutch consulting firm To70 and the Aviation Safety Network which announced 2017 to be the safest year on record for aviation.

The same consulting firm estimates the chances of dying in a plane crash are now one in 16 million.

So, when people tell you that you’re more likely to win the lottery, with odds of one in 13 million, than you are in dying in a plane crash, you should listen, and enter the lottery.