The Burnelli Web Site
Today's design choices=limited chances of surviving a crash
Florida & Sioux City, Iowa

Airlines claim "Flying is safer than mother's arms"
Airlines claim that you are safer on a commercial jet than in your mother's arms. And to some extent, that's true: On the average, about 300 persons a year die in commercial air crashes in the United States, while thousands of children are killed in accidents, most of them in and around the home. And yet, we feel in our bones that flying is dangerous and it is.

Statistics don't lie, but they can be deceiving. Accident rates should reflect how much people are exposed to hazard. When airlines say they have records of "100 million passenger-miles without an accident," the implication is that all those miles were equally hazardous, which is preposterous. Most accidents happen in and around airports, so the distance between takeoff and landing does not count for very much.

If only the distances traveled by airplanes around airports were totaled, it could be proved that intercity buses and trains are safer than flying in commercial airplanes.

If you examine the bottom line in transportation safety, which is how many people are killed each year, riding the subways in the United States and Canada is much safer than flying.

Such statistics are meaningless. What is known is that far too many people die in plane crashes because they have not been given a reasonable chance of surviving.


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