Safest Way to Travel in the US

Jan 11

There are many ways to travel in the US – by airplane, bus, car, bicycle, boat, etc. – depending on one’s needs and budget. Interestingly, different types of transportation can be perceived by travelers to have a different level of safety than they do.

For example, most Americans drive daily and might assume that traveling by motor vehicle is the safest way to get around. This is not true: tens of thousands of Americans are killed or injured in serious auto accidents every year. However, society tends to underestimate the number of auto accidents because they are ‘small’ in terms of human lives, and the media does not cover most of them in any detail.

On the other hand, airplane accidents involve more people and tend to get more media coverage, so there can be a belief perpetuated that traveling by air is more dangerous than it is.

In this article, we look at the safest way to travel, as well as other means that are less safe. If you were in an auto or other accident recently and another party was at fault, contact one of our auto accident attorneys at Blackburn Romey to learn if you have a case that could lead to compensation.


Airline Travel

The statistics are undeniable: air travel is by far the safest way to travel in the United States. When we examine the number of people who travel by airplane and compare that number to the number of injuries and fatalities every year, it is clear that air travel is the safest mode of transportation. Of course, any airplane accident in the US today receives a large amount of media attention, and the public’s view of air safety can be skewed. Traveling by commercial airliner is the safest way to fly; most airplane accidents involve small, private planes.

A key difference between airplane and auto crashes is that passengers often do not survive a plane accident. On the other hand, many people survive auto accidents yearly, although they may suffer catastrophic injuries requiring months or years of care and rehabilitation.

If you need to travel from Indiana to another part of the country, there is no doubt that traveling by commercial airliner is the safest way to travel. National airline safety standards are high, and airline pilots must meet the most stringent performance standards to keep their jobs. However, if you are involved in an airplane crash or lost a loved one, an Indianapolis accident attorney may be able to help you with a claim or lawsuit.

Train Travel

Train travel in the US is also relatively safe, but, like airplane accidents, any train derailment that leads to injuries and fatalities garners plenty of media attention. For example, the Philadelphia Amtrak train crash in 2015 resulted in eight fatalities and dozens of serious injuries. The train operator was found to be speeding around a curve, leading to a catastrophic derailment.+

Railroad companies must follow many federal regulations to keep train travel safe. But sometimes, railroads or engineers do not follow the rules, and accidents do happen. Train accidents can also occur when railroad equipment, such as brakes and seats, are not manufactured according to standards. If an injury or fatality from a defective product occurs, you could also receive compensation in a product liability lawsuit.

Bus Travel

Bus travel is considered safer than going by train, and some statistics suggest it is 50 times safer than riding in a car. Statistics from the Department of Transportation show there were only 35 bus accident deaths in 2018, compared to more than 12,000 auto fatalities the same year.

When bus accidents do occur, injuries are more common than fatalities. The most common causes of injuries or deaths in these cases are bus driver error or another driver’s negligence.

Boat Travel

Traveling by boat is safer today than years ago. However, recreational boating is riskier than commercial boating transportation. There are several thousand recreational boating accidents per year and approximately 600 fatalities.

The most common cause of recreational boating accidents is pilot error. Many people assume that they do not need to pay close attention when piloting a boat because of the open water around them. However, boats move quickly, and just a few seconds of inattention can lead to a serious accident. Also, many people get into boating accidents after consuming alcohol. If you are injured by a drunk boater, you may be able to receive compensation in a boat accident lawsuit. In Indiana, piloting a boat after drinking is just as illegal as drinking and driving.

Car Travel

As noted earlier in this article, traveling by car is common in the US but far from the safest way to get around. It is the most convenient way for most Americans to get from one place to another, but there are thousands of accidents in the US daily and many fatalities.

Traveling by highway or interstate is the most dangerous of the various ways to drive around Indiana. This is because vehicles travel at higher speeds. When a vehicle going 60 or 70 MPH hits you, the crash can lead to catastrophic injuries or death. Moreover, tractor-trailers use American interstates heavily to move products around the country. If a truck driver is negligent and hits a passenger vehicle, that vehicle’s occupants are at high risk of severe injury or death.

While traveling by auto is much safer today because of improvements in technology and safety equipment, auto accidents still cause many injuries and fatalities every day. If it happens to you and you think the other driver was at fault, talk to a personal injury attorney promptly.

Contact Our Indiana Auto Accident Attorneys Today

Were you in an auto accident recently? Handling the case alone could lead to a less-than-ideal outcome if you suffered injuries and property damage. It’s common for auto insurance companies to short-change accident victims who aren’t represented by an attorney.

Contact an Indiana car accident attorney at Blackburn Romey today for a free consultation. We’ll review your situation, including how the accident happened and your injuries, and determine if you have a case. If so, we will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.


Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Tom Blackburn, who has more than 47 years of legal experience, including over 39 years specializing as a personal injury attorney.