Of the various methods of transportation, including walking, cycling, riding a motorcycle and driving, flying presents the lowest safety risk to travelers. According to the National Safety Council, car accidents take the lives of one out of every 415 motorists during their lifetimes. In contrast, the lifetime odds for passengers dying in commercial airline crashes ranks just one in 7,229.
While air travel surpasses other means of transportation for safety, commercial ground travel via buses and trains follows close behind. Commercial bus accidents, according to the National Safety Council, account for 0.05 fatalities for every 100 million miles traveling with passengers. That number rises just slightly to 0.06 fatalities on commercial trains for every 100 million miles traveled.
Although cars pose the highest risk for traveler fatalities, walking and riding motorcycles fall close behind. The National Safety Council estimates that traveling via bicycle takes the lives of approximately one in 5,000 cyclists over the course of a lifetime. Motorcycle crashes kill approximately one out of every 907 riders over a lifetime span, while pedestrian fatalities account for the deaths of one in every 749 walkers and runners.
Stories of commercial airline crashes make headline news more so than car and pedestrian fatalities, which makes people nervous about flying. However, passenger flights remain the safest mode of transportation.