Risk Taking: Have no fear of flying

Connor White

As we’ve seen from other plane crashes, including the flight in Ukraine and the one east of Australia, the media seems all too eager to go overboard with the amount of coverage they allocate to the ensuing investigation. It’s more than likely that the case will be the same for the recent Germanwings crash, especially considering the circumstances surrounding the pilot.

Over the last few days, I’ve overheard numerous conversations regarding the flight, and several included people swearing off flying altogether as a result of the recent crashes, claiming that aviation was not safe. Forgive the overall morbidity of the subject, but the fact of the matter is that aviation is exceedingly safe (even more so in recent years), despite what people may believe due to all the coverage from major media outlets. Flying has become safer and safer over the decades, and while individual figures vary in each statistic, a consistent fact is that you are more likely to die from a shark attack or being struck by lightning than you are by plane crash. One CNN column even stated that you would need to fly every day for four million years before you succumbed to a crash, to put the odds in perspective. So when I hear people swear off flying forever because of an unfortunate series of tragedies, I can’t help but be a little frustrated. Especially because of what that kind of mindset is capable of.

Of course you could argue that not flying is safer, but then so is not driving, not swimming, not even using the stairs, all of which are statistically more dangerous than flying. Allowing that fear to grip you so terribly and wholly denies you from thousands of experiences. If you object to them because they do not interest you, that’s a simply because of your interests, but if you object to them because you are scared of the minuscule chance that something bad will happen, it becomes a problem that must be solved. Life isn’t given to us to spend entirely in our homes, gripped by the fear that bad luck will seize you. Risk is unavoidable; you can only control how much you let the fear of it affect you, and I guarantee that the less you do, the better off you’ll be. That doesn’t mean you should wander into the realm of recklessness, just as the airlines shouldn’t assume that the safety measures are as finely-tuned as they can be. Every death is a tragedy, and all airlines should do everything they can to ensure the safety of their passengers.

Flying will kill people. Just as driving, eating, sleeping, and practically every other activity possible will. Seeing the wreckage is scary, but a world where people associate those every-day activities with taking risks is much scarier.

(In the Graphic) – Death Statistics Used:

Accidents – 1 in 1,656

Car Accident – 1 in 5,000

Firearm Assault – 1 in 24,974

Choking – 1 in 100,686

Falling down stairs – 1 in 157,300

Sugery Complications – 1 in 117,519

Plane Crash – 1 in 11 million