Out-Of-Body Experience

"Pteromehanophobia" Otherwise Known as "The Fear of Flying"






Most people that fly commercially feel it is the safest way to travel and of course the data is out there that supports this argument, but that doesn't calm my nerves,when were speeding down the tarmac and the front of the plane lifts off the ground. I'm a real "Pteromehanophic," I have a fear of flying. 


I'm one of those blue-knuckle types that clenches onto the arm rests from take-off until landing.

It doesn't matter how far I'm travelling, or how fast, considering most airplane accidents happen during take-off and landing, in terms of the number of fatalities per commercial flights, it's about one in seven million. Not that big a risk at all. So, if you took a flight every day for a year on the average it would take 19,000 years before you got yourself into an accident and died, also considering that most people will die in an airplane accident. There are not too many people that walk away from a plane crash, only a lucky few.

Suppose you wanted to take the car to visit grandmother on the Atlantic Coast instead of flying from LAX, which would be safer, driving or flying?

You guessed it right, flying would be safer.  Your chances of getting into a fatal car accident are one in 100,000, much higher than the one in 7,000,000 chance if flying, seventy times riskier, approximately 100 per every 1000 million kilometres travelled.

Which all boils down to; if you drive 20,000 miles per year, you have a 1.6 over 1,000 miles risk of dying in a car accident.  In other words if you live to be 80 and have travelled a total of 1,600,000 miles your chances of dying will be the same, 1.6 every 1,000 miles, much higher than flying.

Since the average person drives about 20,000 km per year, the risk is virtually zero. You have a more chance to succumb by drowning in the bathtub or being murdered in a dark alley than by a terrorist with a bomb on board even on the magnitude of the 911 attack, if one were to happen every year for the rest of your life.

The thing that people fear about flying is not crashing, it's the loss of control, or having no control at all. It's that feeling of helplessness as the plane goes down that scares us the most. 

When the automobile was first introduced to the public, people feared driving, something we now take for granted, it's called familiarity.  Here's an example: The SARS outbreak in Toronto killed about 50 people, people became terrified they might get it, when in actuality 1,000 Canadians die each year from plain old regular flu.

So, the next time you have to fly, relax, sit back, you won't be getting into any kind of accident. The numbers don't lie. 



Dog Brindle




Facts from: Is That a Fact? Mark Battersby








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