According to French prosecutors, an investigation into the recent Germanwings crash has determined that the co-pilot of the plane locked the pilot out of the cockpit and then deliberately slammed the plane into the French Alps. Cockpit voice recordings have been recovered and were used in the analysis of this determination. Understandably, air travelers worldwide are asking how this co-pilot could have possibly been deemed fit to fly.
Much of the world was shocked when news broke of an accident that caused a Delta Air Lines passenger plane to skid off a runway at LaGuardia Airport yesterday. According to numerous media outlets, the plane slid after landing and was only halted a few feet from the bank of the frigid East River. As of yesterday, it seems that nothing was mechanically wrong with the plane and no reports of pilot error surfaced in the hours immediately following the accident.
Last week, we began a discussion aimed at helping to ease the fears of individuals who fear being injured or killed in airplane crashes. Although aviation accidents are relatively uncommon and air travel is far safer than travel by motor vehicle, many Americans suffer significantly because they are afraid of flying. Understandably, these individuals either avoid flying or attempt to limit their air travel. However, air travel cannot be avoided by all people who possess these fears. As a result, it is important that they find ways to make flying more manageable.
Some Americans have more pressing fears of being either injured or killed in a plane crash than others do. Many people are so frightened of this potential occurrence that they either refuse to fly or must self-medicate when they do fly in order to keep their anxieties in check. Even though air travel is far safer than traveling by motor vehicle, there are certainly no guarantees that one will arrive at one’s destination safely via air travel.
We recently published a post detailing the dangerous nature of distracted driving behaviors. When motorists take their hands off the wheel, their eyes off the road and/or their minds off the task of driving, catastrophe can result. Thankfully, most kinds of distracted driving behaviors are preventable. As long as drivers remain engaged and alert, they can prevent many different kinds of accident scenarios. However, drivers too often choose to engage in distracting behaviors despite the dangers they pose.
Nowadays, most airlines charge fees for checked baggage. As a result, it seems that many people get around this frustrating additional fee by stuffing as many of their possessions as possible into their carry-on bags. These overstuffed bags can be bulky, heavy and oddly shaped. When pushed and prodded into overhead compartments, they may not fit neatly. And when overhead bins are not properly secured, these bags can easily fall out and hurt someone.
We have previously discussed the fact that traveling by plane is far safer than traveling by motor vehicle. However, simply because air travel is safer than road travel does not mean that it cannot be safer itself. The number of aviation accidents that occur annually are far fewer than the number of motor vehicle crashes. But until the number of aviation accidents which occur annually reaches zero, improvements to air safety should continue to be a national priority.
It can be difficult for the general public to understand just how safe or unsafe air travel is at a glance. It is generally understood that air travel is safer than traveling by car or truck. But how much safer is this form of travel? This question can be particularly difficult to answer when it seems that all major aviation accidents receive extensive coverage by the media and all fatal auto vehicle wrecks generally do not receive such coverage.
Many Americans have a fear of flying. However, airplanes provide an incredibly convenient way to travel long distances in a short amount of time. As a result, many individuals work to process their fear of flying in ways that allow them to travel by plane.