Per the National Safety Council® (NSC) in its INJURY FACTS® 2017 EDITION, “Overall, passenger transportation incidents account for about 1 out of 6 unintentional injury-related deaths. But the risk of death for the passenger, expressed on a per-mile basis, varies greatly by transportation mode. Highway travel by personal vehicle presents the greatest risk; air, rail, and bus travel have much lower death rates.” The table below shows the most recent available comparative information on U.S. passenger transportation fatality rates.
|Years||U.S. PASSENGER FATALITIES PER 100 MILLION PASSENGER MILES|
|Light Duty Vehicles 1||Intercity Buses 2||Railroad Psgr. Trains 3||Airlines 4|
1. NSC Fatality Analysis Reporting System: cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs, plus taxi passengers and drivers of light duty vehicles
2. American Public Transit Association and National Safety Council estimates: does not include school buses or transit buses
3. Federal Railroad Administration: Amtrak and commuter rail service 4. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS): large airlines and scheduled commuter airlines, excludes cargo/charter/on-demand
The U.S. government began publishing statistics on the safety of commercial aviation in 1927. While 1978 legislation eliminated economic regulation of the U.S. airline industry, it left safety regulation very much in place. The following table depicts the safety record of U.S. airlines performing scheduled services worldwide, from 2000 to present, as recorded by NTSB Safety Record of U.S. Air Carriers (Part 121 Scheduled Service): 2000 to Present
|Year||Accidents: Total||Accidents: Fatal||Fatal Accidents per 100,000 Departures||Fatalities:Total||Fatalities: Onboard|
Sources: 1927-37: AA Statistical Handbook (December 1945). 1938–71: CAB Handbook of Airline Statistics (1973), Part VIII, Items 19c,d, pp. 595-596; NTSB Safety Studies Division. 1972–82: FAA Statistical Handbook (1972-82), Table 9.3, p. 161, citing NTSB for totals; 1983–present: NTSB Aviation Accident Statistics, Table 6. Fatal Accident Rate excludes incidents resulting from illegal acts, consistent with NTSB practice.