Every time I step onto an airplane, I remind myself that air travel is much, much safer than driving. We’re all more likely to be involved in a car crash than we are to experience an airplane crash or flight-related safety scare. In fact, according to the National Safety Council’s “The Odds of Dying” graphic, your lifetime odds of dying in motor vehicle incident are 1 in 98, while your odds of dying in an “air and space transport incident” are 1 in 7,178.
Knowing the facts, however, doesn’t necessarily comfort a nervous airliner passenger. I rack it up to an issue of control – or lack thereof. When we get behind the wheel, we can convince ourselves that we are in control of the car and our own safety. Never mind the weather and visibility variables, human error, traffic, or the distracted, drunk or erratic drivers around us – it’s easy to feel in control when we’re the ones doing the driving. On an airplane, however, we’re hurtling through the sky at high speeds and have absolutely zero control over the flight.
I recently found myself in a nerve-wracking transportation situation where I had no control. And no, it wasn’t on an airplane – it was on a bus. Trust me, I wish had flown for this trip rather than stepping onto that bus.
I’ll share my story in my February Break Room column (spoiler alert: I made it out alive), but for now I want to hear from you. Were you ever a passenger at the mercy of a driver who made you nervous? Ever had a terrifying bus or shuttle ride? Ever had reason to believe your flight was experiencing real trouble? If so, I want to know what happened and how you responded. Please leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (put "Out of Control" in the subject line) to share your story.
Thanks, and be sure to drive safely!