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Superman's safety wisdom


The US National Transportation Safety Board last month released its final figures for 2010 transportation fatalities, and the results again emphatically affirm Superman's famous cinematic assurance to Lois Lane that flying is the safest way to travel. And, statistically speaking, flying commercially is by far the safest way to get from one point to another.

Total US aviation-related fatalities in 2010 were 472, below total fatalities from boating (733), rail (813) and roadway (33,883). Nearly all of the aviation fatalities occurred in the general aviation sector (450), while just two occurred in the commercial segment and they were cargo pilots flying the UPS 747-400F that tragically crashed 50 min. after takeoff from Dubai International. There were no passenger fatalities, as was the case in 2007 and 2008 (the Colgan Air Q400 crash killing 52 people occurred in 2009 and remains the sole fatal US passenger airline accident of the last five years).

To put things in perspective, 44 people died in bus accidents in the US in 2010 while 618 died in bicycle accidents. Some 4,280 pedestrians were killed in US road accidents in 2010.

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