We all know that travel doesn’t come without risks, especially in the current global climate. But have you really thought about which might be the safest way to move around?
If we look at it in order of statistics, then the highway rates show that it’s the most dangerous mode of transport, followed by railroad, water and then finally by air. Above all else, you are far better off thousands of feet above ground.
Apparently, one in ten of us have a phobia about flying and anxiety about taking a flight can be a real problem for some people.
It’s not hard to see why people consider flying to be risky due the influences we see on the big screen. It’s often big budget movies, where planes plummet through the sky and turn into a ball of flames, that are to blame making us think that air travel is perilous and fraught with danger. We see these images and they stay imprinted in our memories, yet they are for the most part fictitious disasters on an epic scale.
Airline technology makes car technology pale in comparison. The technology used on airplanes is second to none and it controls the flights as well as predicting turbulence and altitude. Everything is controlled on board with detection programmes that are intuitive and protect against lightning strikes and extreme pressure.
Low Crash Rate
Although we always hear about the devastation of a plane crash through the media, it’s not very rare compared to the amount of fatalities that occur on the roads. This is proof that you’re more likely to have a car accident and need an attorney for injury after a crash while en route to the airport, rather than flying thousands of miles across the world.
Air Traffic Control
Pilots have assistance at every step of the journey and all movements are tracked in the sky. Unlike other forms of transport, there are many people in charge of your flight from departure to destination.
Advances in technology mean that air traffic control has more visibility and insights into what’s happening around them and the flight you’re travelling on, will have many eyes on it.
Pilots go through some rigorous training to get passed to fly. Many are retired from the US Air Force and all potential pilots go through a rigorous screening process before they’re even allowed to train for their license.
No Reckless Drivers in the Air
If you think about the hazards that are on the roads on a daily basis with reckless and selfish drivers, it makes you realize how different it is to be flying in the sky. The pilot cannot fly if he is not feeling at their optimum best and it’s the responsibility of other crew members to speak up if they feel that the pilot or the co-pilot is not fit to fly.
There are also stricter protocols now after events such as 9/11, where there always has to be two people present in the cockpit.
Turbulence Doesn’t Mean Danger
For the pilot it’s seen as an inconvenience but for passengers, it can be fairly frightening. The plane is never going to be destabilized from strong gusts of air – even if it feels very much like it is going to. It’s a very normal part of air travel and isn’t deemed a safety issue. If turbulence really does bother you, then it’s always advisable to sit directly over the wings as opposed to the nose and tail, that experience the most motion in flight.
Planes are Prepared for Crash Landings
We all know about the safety talks that take place on board, where we learn about how to use the oxygen masks and where to find our life jackets if we were to ever need them in an emergency. Their seatbelts are stronger than they’ve ever been in the past and the seats are designed to act as floatation devices. So many advances in their emergency procedures mean that if you were to be involved in a crash, then your odds of survival are far more likely than 20 years ago.
The crew take the safety talks very seriously and their training is very thorough. Every aspect of an emergency landing is considered by the attendants on each flight and they’re trained to respond efficiently and effectively. Planes can lose altitude, skid off the runway and come up against strong turbulence, all without causing any injury to the passengers onboard. Survival rates are really very good.
There Are Safety Audits
Audits are compiled frequently now due to the amount of data that is available, meaning that it’s easier than ever to enhance safety and bring in the appropriate measures when needed.
All Commercial Airlines are Extensively Tested
Commercial flights are deemed to be the safest planes to travel on. They are rigorously tested before they can even get off the ground and between stops, engineers are always checking that everything is working exactly as it should be.
The tests involve checking that the wings bend the way that they should and that they can withstand force. You can often see how flexible the wings are when you look at their movement during flight, where they bounce and bend as they’re designed to do.
The engines are put under tests to see how they will perform if one of the engines was to fail mid flight – the most common hazard being a bird strike. All commercial aircraft are designed to operate with only one engine and if the worst case scenario happened, where both engines failed, then there is a good possibility that the plane can coast to a safe landing.
The planes are also flown in very hot and cold temperatures to ensure that the engines and systems work as they should. Every eventuality is tested, including brake testing and finding out what the minimum speed can be for take off. No stone is left unturned.
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