Flying might be seen the safest form of travel, but when things go wrong, they go spectacularly wrong.
And if the global panic surrounding Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft — which is currently grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes — is anything to go by, it seems while aviation accidents are rare, they never go unnoticed.
Now new statistics from overseas removals company 1st Move International have revealed the most dangerous countries for people to travel by air, train and road.
But it’s worth putting these figures into perspective. Last year, 556 people died in air travel accidents, but about 1.35 million people die in road accidents each year.
The accident rate for flying is one fatal accident per 2.5 million flights, the South China Morning Post reports.
And despite 15 fatal air accidents last year, including October’s high-profile crash of Lion Air 610 that killed 189 people, 2018 was still the third most safe year for commercial aviation in history.
DEADLIEST LOCATIONS FOR AIR TRAVEL
This ranking is based on the worst accidents since 1968.
1. United States — 10 accidents and 4200 deaths
2. Spain — 7 accidents and 1367 deaths
3. Japan — 3 accidents and 946 deaths
4. Indonesia — 5 accidents and 873 deaths
5. Nigeria — five accidents and 787 deaths.
One particularly noteworthy accident that contributed to the figures was the Tenerife air disaster in Spain in 1977 in which a Pan American passenger jet collided with a KLM plane, killing 583 people across both aircraft.
It is still regarded as the deadliest aviation disaster in world history.
MOST ACCIDENT-PRONE AIRLINES
1. American Airlines — five accidents and 2578 deaths
2. Aeroflot — 4 accidents and 718 deaths
3. China Airlines — 3 accidents and 692 deaths
4. Pan American (now defunct) — 3 accidents and 758 deaths
5. Malaysia Airlines — 2 accidents and 537 deaths.
Malaysia Airlines’ two incidents and deaths are related to missing flight MH370, which is presumed to have crashed into the Southern Indian Ocean in March 2014, and MH17, which was shot down while flying over Ukraine four months later.
The Post points out while China Airlines is on the list, it hasn’t had a fatal accident since 2002 when a Boeing 747 crashed into the sea after taking off at Taipei for Hong Kong, killing all 225 people on board.
COUNTRIES WITH DEADLIEST RAIL SYSTEMS
This ranking is based on figures for 2018.
1. India — 2 accidents and 59 deaths
2. Turkey — 2 accidents and 33 deaths
3. South Africa — 3 accidents and 20 deaths
4. Taiwan — 1 accident and 18 deaths
5. Egypt — 1 accident and 15 deaths.
MOST DANGEROUS ROADS
Again, these numbers are from 2018.
1. India — 150,785 deaths
2. China — 58,022 deaths
3. Brazil — 38,651 deaths
4. USA — 35,092 deaths
5. Indonesia — 31,282 deaths.
Australians are no strangers to Indonesia’s deadly roads. Road accidents are the third main cause of Australian deaths in the country, which has the highest rate of deaths and hospitalisations for our travellers.
An Australian man was killed in Bali in a scooter accident in March, weeks after celebrating Valentine’s Day there with his girlfriend.
In November, Sunshine Coast man Jacob Mabb died a week after he was left with horrific injuries after crashing his scooter in Bali.
The 21-year-old former surf coach suffered severe head injuries that left him in a coma.
In October, Perth man Callan Jay Everts, 32, died when his scooter crashed into the wall of the Santo Paulus Church in North Kuta.
Mr Everts, who was travelling with friends, died from head injuries in Sanglah Hospital soon after the accident.
And in August, Sydney man Ollie Dousset lost his leg but survived after the scooter he was riding on was hit by a cement truck in Uluwatu.