While I was watching the news these days, I learned that there were three air disasters in one week with over 700 victims. In my opinion, 2014 is going to be a very bad year for civil aviation’s reputation around the world. But this should not stop us from flying from one place to another by air.
Every year, there are more than 30 million commercial flights that transport people from one place to another around the globe. Statistically, the probability of an accident in the air with fatal casualties is at least 9 times lower than any other means of transportation. In terms of fatalities, flying is much safer than anything else, having 0.03 deaths per 100 million passenger-kilometers performed (the number of passengers multiplied by the number of kilometers travelled). In comparison, there are 0.1 casualties for the same distances transported by road.
However, every year we hear news about aviation accidents that lead to loss of life. An infographic created by BBC depicts the aviation accidents from the past 21 years in a nice visual app, taking into account the causes of the tragedy. According to the graphic, the main causes of these incidents are pilot errors (207 cases from 1993 to present), followed by bad weather (82 accidents), some kind of mechanical problems (74 tragedy) and deliberate crashes. These deliberate crashes are usually the result of terrorist activities (23 incident) like the famous 9/11.
If you want more accurate statistics, you can check this PDF file.