Posted On: February 21, 2010 by Christopher T. Hurley

Although there were fewer plane crashes in 2009, death toll higher

Joan Lowy reports, although, “fewer airline crashes occurred around the world in 2009 than during the previous year… deaths were up” (Washington AP, 2/18). 2009 saw five fewer airline fatal accidents than 2008 with 18 and 23, respectively, according to the International Air Transportation Association. However, of the 18 incidents in 2009, 685 fatalities resulted compared with 502 in 2009.

The 2009 accident rate landed at “0.7 accidents per million flights,” which was the second lowest ever reported. This may be surprising to many who recall several major plane crashes that received substantial media attention, however, three accidents accounted for most of the death toll: a June Air France flight, a June Yemeni Airways flight, and a July Russia to Armenia flight.

The most promising news “is that the current accident rate is only about half what it was in the 1990s, thanks in part to technology advancements, said Jim Burin, director of technical programs at the Flight Safety Foundation, an international aviation safety organization in Alexandria, Va.”

As a personal injury lawyer in Chicago, I am hopeful that continued technological innovations will continue to make flying even safer in the years to come.

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