How Dangerous Are Airplanes? Not Very Dangerous At All | Exploring Markets

How Dangerous Are Airplanes? Not Very Dangerous At All

When mainstream media gets whiff of an airplane accident it is guaranteed to make front pages and headlines everywhere.

In 2014 there have been several worrisome and alarming airline accidents. And that has led many to believe that airplanes are getting more dangerous. But it's important to remember to stick to the facts and not be persuaded by psychological biases.

In this case, a very real psychological bias is the serial position effect. Meaning, the general public will always remember the last occurrence most frequently and not the events that happened in-between and before.

The moments that most frequently come to mind in 2014 are the missing Malayasia Airlines plane and the other plane that was shot down over Ukraine. So, airlines must be dangerous, right? Just read those headlines and the answer would be yes in many people's views. 

But that is wrong. In-between those headlines thousands and thousand of aircrafts have been taking off and landing every day. It's essential to always remember what happened in the middle.

Even more importantly, a quick review of the facts, and you would see that airlines are actually getting far less risky than they once were: