The International Civil Aviation Organization said the accident rate for commercial aircraft worldwide last year was the lowest recorded since the organization began keeping statistics. With a global accident rate of 2.8 accidents per one million departures, it was a 13% decrease from 2012.
Even when there were fatal accidents around the world in 2013, the total number of deaths dropped to 173 from 388 a year earlier. Since 2009, total world-wide fatalities dropped by more than two-thirds.
In the U.S., the statistics are even better.
Over five years ending April, American carriers flew 3.7 billion passengers, or roughly 10 times the U.S. population, “without,” as the former head of safety at the Federal Aviation Administration put it, “so much as putting a scratch on anyone” who was a passenger.
Yes, three people died in that botched landing at San Francisco’s airport last year, but that was not a US airline—that was a Korean Air jet.
The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was a tragedy. But statistically, flying is safer than ever.