Aviation and Plane Crash Statistics
Plane travel is arguably the safest type of transportation. However, this doesn’t mean accidents never occur in air travel. They are just rare. You may be wondering, what percentage of planes crash?
The following statistics will help you understand how common crashes are in plane travel and what cost those accidents have on human lives.
How Common Are Plane Crashes Worldwide?
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) tracks aviation accidents in the U.S., and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) tracks global incidents. Both agencies concur that aviation accidents are low compared to the number of miles flown every year.
According to a report issued by the IATA, there were 39 reported aviation accidents in 2022, and only five of those resulted in fatalities. This means that only a tiny fraction of a percentage of the 32.2 million flights that occurred in 2022 resulted in an accident.
There was one accident for every 830,000 flights flown in 2022. Furthermore, there was only one fatal accident per 5.8 million flights flown. This means you have almost 10 times the chance of being dealt a royal flush in a single hand of poker than being in a fatal airplane crash.
Typically, the statistics on plane crashes are framed in terms of hours flown. According to the NTSB, in 2020, the fatal accident rate was 1.049 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours. Comparatively, if you flew every day of your life, 24 hours a day, for an entire year, you would only spend 8,760 hours in the air.
These statistics account for all types of aviation combined, including:
- Commercial planes
- Private planes
- Military planes
- Other aerial craft like helicopters
- Transport craft
However, most people will never fly in any type of aerial craft other than a commercial plane. Thus, the most important question is: How many plane crashes a year take place on commercial transportation?
How Common Are Commercial Airplane Crashes?
According to Airlines for America, commercial air carriers were responsible for 21 of the 29 crashes in 2021. However, out of seven total accidents for that year, only one resulted in a fatality. Similarly, according to the IATA, only one of the five fatal accidents in 2022 was flown by an air carrier.
Typically, accidents are much more likely in smaller planes (turboprops) than commercial jets. However, because these aircraft are smaller, they carry fewer people than commercial airlines. Thus, when a commercial airline crashes, there is a high chance that fatalities will be in the high double digits. This occurred in 2009 when there was one crash that killed 50 people.
What Percentage of Aviation Accidents Are Caused By Human Error?
How many plane crashes a year involve human error? This was a question asked by NASA in the mid-2000s. The answer was somewhat frightening.
According to NASA data, pilot error was the primary cause of almost 80% of general aviation accidents and 75% of fatal general aviation accidents. General aviation is non-commercial aviation. These numbers decrease to approximately 50% for scheduled air travel, including all commercial flights.
This means that if someone is injured or killed in a commercial plane accident, there is at least a 50% chance that the air carrier is liable. That is a small consolation, though, if you were catastrophically injured in a plane crash or lost a loved one.
If pilot error wasn’t the cause of an aviation accident, does that mean that the crash wasn’t caused by human error? Not necessarily. Roughly 10% of crashes are caused by non-pilot human error (an air traffic controller, for example). Another 20% of accidents result from mechanical failure, which could have resulted from negligence.
Sadly, humans are more likely than not to be in some way responsible for any accident involving an airplane.
What Do These Plane Crash Statistics Mean?
The good news of these statistics is that you have almost nothing to fear when taking a commercial aircraft.
The percentage of planes that crash is approximately 0.0001% — effectively zero. If you flew a round trip across the country every week, you’d only spend approximately 40,040 hours in the air. You would still have less than a 50% chance of being in a fatal accident.
Fewer than a hundred people die in plane crashes most years; the highest total of deaths for a single year this century was less than 600. This is a fraction of the almost 39,000 deaths from car accidents in 2020. You are more likely to be attacked by a shark than to be involved in a non-fatal plane accident.
In short, commercial air travel is even statistically safer than walking.
Legal Action After a Plane Crash
But what can you do if you are hurt in a plane crash? The law allows you to take legal action to recover damages, especially if the pilot or airline was responsible for the accident. An insurance company will typically offer you a settlement if you survive or offer your family a settlement if you don’t. While this may be the right answer for you or your family, you should never trust an insurance company to make a fair offer.
It is much better to contact an experienced aviation accident attorney as soon as possible. Plane crashes are often difficult to investigate, so the sooner you contact a lawyer the more time they have to conduct an investigation. This matters when medical bills are piling up, and you are out of work.
The settlement offer from the insurance company will look better and better as time goes on and you are stuck in the hospital, not working. Your attorney will attempt to work as quickly as possible to determine what happened and what you need to receive fair compensation for your injuries.
If it is determined that the airline was negligent, you can file a lawsuit. This could potentially net you a life-changing amount of money. That is only fair after you have suffered a life-changing injury.
In the best-case scenario, a plane crash is a terrifying experience that will likely require years of therapy to recover from. In the worst-case scenario, your family will be considering legal action in a wrongful death lawsuit.
A Gainesville Aviation Accident Attorney Can Help After A Plane Crash
If you are a victim of a plane accident in Florida, you deserve compensation for the harm you suffered.
Call for a Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury or accident can significantly affect your quality of life. We help you seek compensation for the damages caused by a negligent party. Contact our law office or call (877) 255-3652 to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Gainesville personal injury attorney at Allen Law Firm, P.A.
Our team will explain your legal options to get money for recovery.