It’s Healthier to Fly than Drive

September 7, 2007 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

I don’t like to write about airplane crashes. For one thing, they’re depressing. I also don’t like to write about them because too many people out there are already afraid of flying, and I don’t want to add to their anxiety. Flying, in my opinion, is one of the most fun things you can do. Another reason I don’t write about plane crashes is because dying in one is much less likely to happen than dying in a car crash, so again, why alarm people?

So how come I’m writing about plane crashes now? Well, a recent story in the Vancouver Sun caught my attention the other day. According to the article, a person living in British Columbia is at higher risk for dying from poisoning (1 in 225) than from a plane or helicopter crash (1 in 3,968). Their stats are taken from the Canadian Human Mortality Database, which sounds like a pretty serious database to me.

Would this information make someone who’s afraid of flying a little more comfortable with the idea of climbing into a 737? Apparently not. I told a friend of mine who hates to fly that she was more likely to die in a car accident (1 in 65) than in an airplane crash. She wasn’t impressed. “The thought of flying still scares me.” That’s too bad because she’d actually be safer flying to work than driving.

Here’s another stat from the article that I liked. Journalists have only a 1 in 474 chance of being injured. Compare that to chainsaw operators who have a 1 in 8 chance of being injured. Does that mean being a journalist and a frequent flyer means I have a better chance to live a long life? If so, that’s something worth writing about.

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