"[MH17] was struck by a missile fired by a bunch of terrorists. We may not like it but those are the cold, hard facts we need to come to terms with."
Media coverage of such events made them more dramatic than their statistical probability warranted, Amos said.
Compared to the probability of dying in a plane crash, someone was six times more likely to be kicked to death by a donkey or murdered by a spouse or a relative.
Being in one's home was 11 times more dangerous than being on a plane, Amos said.
As a teenager I recall being on an Air Canada DC-8 flight from Trinidad & Tobago to Barbados. At the time, I had no idea about crash of Air Canada Flight 621 only a few months before. Maybe the lady in the aisle next to mine was aware of it, because as the DC-8 roared down the runway during take-off, she was holding a rosary, praying, and in tears. Or maybe she was unaware of it herself, but was just aviophobic.
Anywhere from 10%-30% of people have aviophobia (depending on when the last major crash occurred), and I think most of the fear comes from the fact that an aircraft isn't like a car. When something goes wrong mechanically, one can't just pull to the side of the road and fix it, as happened with Qantas Flight 32.
Nevertheless, considering a 2009 World Health Organisation report that Traffic Accidents Kill 1.27 Million Globally, dying in a plane crash should be the least of our worries, and commercial airlines are far less likely to crash than much smaller privately operated aircraft. Commercial airlines also know that a good safety record is paramount to generating a continuing and profitable business, as many people do check an airline's safety record before booking.
So if you're due to fly anytime soon, it's best to just relax, sit back and enjoy the meals and a bit of chardonnay, knowing that you're actually safer being in the air than being in a car, or even at home.
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