• August 26, 2023
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How America excels in air travel safety but fails in road safety

How America excels in air travel safety but fails in road safety Air travel is often considered to be one…

 How America excels in air travel safety but fails in road safety

How America excels in air travel safety but fails in road safety

Air travel is often considered to be one of the most dangerous modes of transportation, but in reality, it is the safest. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), there were 0.13 fatalities per 100 million passengers in 2019, the lowest rate ever recorded. In contrast, car accidents killed 38,800 people in the US alone in 2019, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). That means you are about 300 times more likely to die in a car crash than in a plane crash.

How America excels in air travel safety but fails in road safety

Why is there such a huge gap between air travel and car safety in the US? How can the US improve its road safety record? What are some of the benefits of flying over driving? These are some of the questions we will answer in this blog article, along with some frequently asked questions (FAQ) from our readers.

 

The main reason why air travel is so safe is because of the strict regulations and standards that govern the aviation industry. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversees every aspect of air travel, from pilot training and certification, to aircraft maintenance and inspection, to air traffic control and security. The FAA also conducts rigorous investigations and audits to ensure compliance and identify potential risks. The aviation industry also has a strong culture of safety and cooperation, where errors and incidents are reported and analyzed to prevent recurrence.

 

On the other hand, car safety is largely dependent on individual drivers and their behavior. The US has a high rate of car ownership and usage, with an average of 1.88 vehicles per household and 13,476 miles driven per year. However, many drivers do not follow the basic rules of the road, such as wearing seat belts, obeying speed limits, avoiding distractions and driving sober. The US also has a fragmented and inconsistent system of driver education, licensing and enforcement, which varies by state and sometimes by county. Moreover, the US has a poor infrastructure for public transportation and alternative modes of travel, such as biking and walking, which reduces the options for people who want to avoid driving.

 

The US can improve its car safety by adopting some of the best practices from other countries that have lower rates of road fatalities, such as Sweden, Norway and Japan. Some of these practices include:

 

– Implementing a vision zero policy, which aims to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries from traffic crashes by designing safer roads, vehicles and systems.

– Increasing the minimum age for obtaining a driver’s license, which reduces the exposure of young and inexperienced drivers to high-risk situations.

– Introducing graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs, which restrict the conditions under which new drivers can operate a vehicle, such as night driving, passenger limit and cell phone use.

– Enhancing driver education and testing, which covers not only technical skills but also cognitive and behavioral aspects of driving.

– Enforcing stricter penalties for traffic violations, especially for impaired driving, speeding and distracted driving.

– Promoting the use of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), such as lane departure warning, blind spot detection and automatic emergency braking, which can prevent or mitigate crashes.

– Encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), which have lower emissions and maintenance costs than conventional vehicles.

– Expanding the availability and accessibility of public transportation and alternative modes of travel, which can reduce congestion and pollution.

 

The benefits of flying over driving are not only related to safety but also to convenience, comfort and cost. Flying can save you time and hassle by avoiding traffic jams, road closures, tolls, parking fees and other delays. Flying can also offer you more comfort and amenities than driving, such as reclining seats, entertainment systems, food and beverages and luggage handling. Flying can also be cheaper than driving in some cases, depending on the distance, duration, fuel price, vehicle depreciation, and other factors.

 

FAQ:

 

Q: How safe is air travel compared to other modes of transportation?

A: Air travel is the safest mode of transportation when measured by fatalities per passenger mile. According to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), in 2019, air travel had a fatality rate of 0.07 per billion passenger miles, compared to 0.88 for buses, 1.32 for railroads, and 7.28 for cars.

 

Q: What are some of the common causes of plane crashes?

A: According to the Aviation Safety Network (ASN), which tracks aviation accidents worldwide, the most common causes of plane crashes in 2019 were:

 

– Pilot error (50%)

– Technical failure (22%)

– Weather (11%)

– Sabotage (5%)

– Other human error (4%)

– Unknown (4%)

– Other causes (4%)

 

Q: What are some of the common causes of car crashes?

A: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which collects and analyzes crash data in the US, the most common causes of car crashes in 2019 were:

 

– Distracted driving (8.5%)

– Speeding (16.7%)

– Impaired driving (10.3%)

– Failure to yield right of way (7.3%)

– Failure to keep in proper lane (6.9%)

– Running red lights or stop signs (5.8%)

– Improper turning (4.1%)

– Other driver errors (40.4%)

 

Q: What are some of the ways to prevent or survive a plane crash?

A: Some of the ways to prevent or survive a plane crash are:

 

– Choose a reputable airline and check its safety record and ratings.

– Follow the instructions and advice of the flight crew and the safety card.

– Wear comfortable and appropriate clothing and footwear.

– Avoid alcohol and drugs before and during the flight.

– Buckle up your seat belt and keep it fastened throughout the flight.

– Choose a seat near the exit or the wing, which may increase your chances of escaping in case of an emergency.

– Pay attention to the pre-flight briefing and the location of the nearest exit.

– Stay calm and alert in case of an emergency and follow the evacuation procedures.

– Use the brace position to protect your head and body from impact.

– Use a smoke hood or a wet cloth to cover your nose and mouth in case of fire or smoke.

– Use a life vest or a flotation device if the plane lands on water.

 

Q: What are some of the ways to prevent or survive a car crash?

A: Some of the ways to prevent or survive a car crash are:

 

– Maintain your vehicle and check its tires, brakes, lights and other components regularly.

– Plan your route and check the weather, traffic and road conditions before you drive.

– Drive defensively and follow the rules of the road, such as speed limits, signals, signs and markings.

– Avoid distractions, such as cell phones, eating, drinking, grooming or adjusting the radio.

– Avoid impaired driving, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or fatigue.

– Wear your seat belt and make sure your passengers do too.

– Use appropriate child safety seats or booster seats for children under 13 years old.

– Adjust your headrest to prevent whiplash injuries.

– Use airbags and other safety features in your vehicle, such as ABS, ESC and ADAS.

– Stay in your vehicle if it is safe to do so after a crash and call 911 for help.

 

Also See:

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