It’s an age-old question in the United States: is it safer to travel by car or on some form of public transportation? Around 95% of Americans own at least one motor vehicle, which could explain why highway fatalities take around 21,000 lives per year. If you’ve heard that it’s safer to fly or take another mode of transportation rather than drive to a destination, that may not be too far from the truth.
So how safe is it to travel by planes, trains, and buses rather than by automobile? The answer may surprise you:
The fear of flying affects thousands of people each year and influences their travel decisions, yet statistics show that this fear is largely unfounded. The actual odds of dying in a plane-related crash are only one in 45 million. In fact, airline travel has been getting safer over the past few decades, and incidents have reached historic lows. In 2014, air travel accidents were at their lowest levels since 1973, with just 761 deaths in 12 commercial flight accidents, according to the Aviation Safety Network. In 2013, only 265 people were killed in air travel accidents, making it the safest year since 1945. While those number may seem a bit high to some, consider this: for every one million flights that take place, just one of those planes has an accident.
Trains may not be as popular as they once were, but they are still among the safest modes of transportation in the United States. Over the past decade, there were an average of 38 train-related deaths each year, with a 38% drop in railroad crossing deaths between 2004 and 2013. However, about 65% railroad fatalities take place in areas beside the traffic crossing, meaning that most of the 891 deaths caused by trains in 2013 didn’t happen at road intersections. Still, the best way to avoid tragedy is to be safe around train tracks, including waiting for trains to finish passing and not walking or driving on railroad tracks.
Although buses may have fewer deadly accidents than passenger vehicles, they still cause several fatalities and thousands of injuries each year. An average of 63,000 buses get into bus accidents each year. Of those, 14,000 result in at least one person getting injured, but 325 of those accidents causes a fatal injury. The type of bus plays a major factor in how many deaths and injuries occur each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that an average of 19 people die and 7,887 are injured in motorcoaches each year, meaning vehicles such as charter buses. For school buses, that figure drops to 18 deaths for school age children on average annually. This means that travelers on charter buses should be relatively safe, and they still have less chance of death or injury than they would in an automobile.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a public transportation accident, it's important to work with an experience personal injury lawyer from Burger Law in order to recover the compensation you deserve. To get started on your free consultation, contact Burger Law by calling (314) 542-2222 or by completing our online contact form.