When planning a trip, it is common to ask questions such as: where are we going? How are we going? By air or by land? Even if the plane is the safest means of transport, chosen by more than 3 million passengers, does not make it prone to not suffer accidents. Aviation registers one serious accident for every 2.4 million flights. In Spain, one in 356,357 ends in a claim. Of course, according to data collected by the World Health Organization, 3,500 people lose their lives every day on the roads.
Before taking off, a qualified team of technicians, pilots and crew carry out all kinds of preventive measures so that the plane takes off without incident and, if there are any, they are the least possible. That is, the planes pass by several daily ITVs before taking flight for the first time.
The second exhaustive review will take place every 100 hours of being in the air, another every 600, another every 18 months and the one known as the «Great Stop» that takes place with 30,000 flight hours or, what is the same five years.
Seat layout: key to traveler safety
Everything on the plane is measured to the millimeter. However, there is research that reveals that the rear seats are safer. According to the magazine Popular Mechanics: «passengers traveling in this part of the plane have a 69% chance of survival, higher than 56% of those who travel in the central part of the aircraft (the seats before and after the wings) and 40% of those who travel in first class «.
Anyway, in the event of an accident; whether in first class or economy, the seats must meet certain standards: they must withstand 16 times the force of gravity and the fabrics that cover them are non-combustible and do not emit toxic fumes.
Not all plane accidents end in death
Runway trips, both during take-off and landing, and engine failures are the two most frequent accidents that usually occur in an airplane. They have a survival rate of 8% mortality. Ariel Shocrón, head of the air safety committee of the Spanish Union of Airline Pilots (SEPLA), note that «The accident rate for aircraft manufactured in the West is practically nil.» Although, obviously, as in any type of accident, everything depends on the magnitude and type of collision that occurs.
In addition, airplanes are safer in terms of the possibility of an attack. And it is that, after the 9/11 attacks, in New York, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) are in charge of security protocols.
Other means of transportation
Although the plane is the safest means of transport taking into account the accident rate it presents, there are other options that are also characterized by the prevailing safety.
According to the company Assegur, «the risk of dying on a ship is 1 in 6 million”, Which shows that it is also currently a very secure medium. In this case, most of the mishaps are not found on the trip itself (except for well-known shipwrecks, there are usually no major accidents), but at boarding time for obvious reasons and, generally, due to lack of user attention .
Regarding land transport, it seems that the train is a highly recommended modality as far as security is concerned. In fact, according to the same insurer, «the risk of suffering an accident traveling by train is 1 in 400,000». The problem is that, as with some air disasters, rail accidents are often very newsworthy.
The road, the most dangerous
Thus, we conclude that the most dangerous way of moving is precisely the one that is used the most: road transport, whatever the vehicle. According to Assegur, there is one accident every 5,000 trips, although in many cases they are not fatal mishaps.
As reported by the General Directorate of Traffic (@DGTes), «a total of 25,100 people left their lives on the streets and highways of the European Union in 2018 (-1% year-on-year), with cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and the elderly as the most vulnerable ”; figures that continue to be alarming and must be gradually reduced. And to achieve this, the most appropriate tools will be the new technologies (Internet of Things, autonomous cars …).
However, not all vehicles are equally dangerous. According to a study by University Institute of Automobile Research (INSIA) of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, the coach has safer ratios, since it accounts for 10% of mobility and only represents the 0.65% of fatalities in traffic accidents.