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How do cars compare to other modes of transportation for safety?

Cars are certainly the most common way to travel for Americans, and most people feel relatively safe while doing it. Perhaps you’ve had a harrowing experience, like driving in a severe storm, but your odds of injury or death aren’t generally something you think about when you get behind the wheel. Many people drive multiple times per day for decades on end without really worrying.

This mindset suggests that cars are a safe way to travel, but is that true? Are there actually some safer options?

Cars are not the most dangerous way to travel, but they’re also far from safe

By far, air travel is the safest mode of travel. An accident will make the news, so people often feel nervous when they fly, but accidents involving commercial planes very rarely happen. After that, you have travel by bus or by train. Again, a major accident involves numerous people and so it makes for a sensational story, but these larger vehicles crash less frequently and sometimes offer greater protection.

With nearly 40,000 average traffic deaths per year, cars clock in and as one of the most hazardous ways to travel. They just don’t get as much coverage because the deaths happen one or two at a time. It all adds up, though, and odds are you will eventually be in a car accident — if you haven’t already.

Motorcycles don’t lead to as many fatalities as cars, but they lead to far more deaths on a per-miles-driven basis. It’s not hard to see why when considering the lack of protection they offer those who ride.

If you have been hurt in a traffic accident or lost a loved one, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver or their insurance company.