Is Flying Safer Than Driving in St. Petersburg, FL?

The summer travel season may be ending, but there’s never a bad time to think about your next family vacation.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 674 million passengers took to the skies in 2021. Similarly, AAA found that 42 million travelers hit the road over Independence Day weekend in 2022, up from 41.8 million drivers over the same period in 2021.

Cars and planes are both popular means of transportation for Floridians. Each comes with distinct advantages and disadvantages, but safety is one of the most significant considerations for those planning a long-distance journey. Statistics can help answer the age-old question of whether one method of travel is safer than the other.

Florida Car Crash Statistics

Based on recent numbers, there are far more car wrecks in the United States than plane crashes. In 2020, the most recent year for which crash statistics are available, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recorded a total of 341,399 traffic collisions involving some 569,182 drivers. 

This number included 3,098 fatal crashes that claimed the lives of three Floridians. Another 155,781 crashes left at least one person injured. That’s over 900 crashes daily and 1.60 fatalities for every 100 million miles traveled in Florida.

Aviation Accident Statistics

By contrast, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recorded no fatalities in 2020 involving commercial airliners. The NTSB reports that no commercial airline passengers have perished in an airline crash in seven of the last ten years.

That’s not the end of the story, however. There were 332 fatalities in general aviation crashes, a rate of about 1.049 fatal crashes for every 100,000 hours flown. Additionally, 21 people lost their lives in crashes involving Part 135 flight operations, which include charter and air-taxi services.

It’s worth noting that these statistics cover the entirety of the United States, not just Florida. There are currently no available statistics specific to Florida or the St. Petersburg area.

The Verdict: Commercial Flight Is the Safest Travel Option

From the numbers, it’s clear that the safest means of travel for most passengers is flying on a commercial airliner. Flying with a charter or air-taxi service is not without some risk, but that risk is smaller than other methods of travel. Even general aviation, which includes flying as or with a private pilot, carries less risk of a fatal crash than travel by car. 

Even so, driving offers some degree of control over your means of transport. When traveling by air, you have no choice but to trust the mechanics and flight crew to do their jobs properly and keep you safe. If an emergency arises, there’s little you can do other than follow the flight crew’s instructions.

While you can’t ensure that other motorists will drive carefully, there are things you can do to prevent a crash if one looks imminent. Braking or moving out of the way of a careless or reckless driver may help you avoid a collision and any resulting injuries or property damage it might have otherwise caused.

What to Do If You Get In an Accident

Whether you take to the air or stay on the road for your next trip, know that you always have options if you happen to be involved in an unfortunate accident. You may be entitled to receive financial compensation from the person or business deemed responsible for the accident, especially if you or a loved one got injured.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm – Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

Contact a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer at Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.

Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

700 7th Ave N Suite B
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 933-0015