This debate rages on, but here are some interesting statistics brought up by a journalist. The claim is helicopters have 85 times the fatalies than cars per 100 000 hours. considering there are over 40 000 car fatalies per year in the US this is a bold statement.
"On the other side of the Atlantic, Slate.com attempted to answer this question after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie argued that his use of taxpayer-funded helicopter flights was justified because they had a better safety record than cars.
Slate journalist Brian Palmer observed that:
This is of course a back-of-the envelope calculation which doesn't compare like with like.
Between 2005 and 2009, there was an annual average of 1.44 fatalities (PDF) per 100,000 flying hours in non-military helicopters. Over the same period, there were 13.2 traffic fatalities per 100,000 population in the United States annually. Since the average American spends around 780 hours per year (PDF) in the car, that means the fatality rate per 100,000 hours of driving time is just 0.017. Based on hours alone, helicopters are 85 times more dangerous than driving. [Emphasis added]
So while we don't have enough comparable data to form firm conclusions about the relative safety of helicopter travel, it does seem that Kate Hoey was mistaken about increases in their use in the capital, at least in recent years."
If that information was accurate and true of all helicopter operations do you believe the leaders of every nation would be transported daily via helicopter?
As others said. Its apples to oranges, and not all of the data is there.
Helicopter safety varies alot based on the operator, and the mission.
You can do anything you want with statistics. the 13.2 traffic fatalities per 100,000 people matches my calculations. The hours spent in cars looks grossly over-inflated. The FMCSA reports 38,588 road fatalities in the US in 2006, and 2,989,807,000,000 total road miles traveled. The FMCSA site publishes a fatality rate of 1.5 fatalities per 100 million(road) miles.http://www.fmcsa.dot...cs/cmvfacts.htm
Using a time based approach is going to bias the numbers towards cars (because they are slower) than a distance based approach anyway
Using the above stats of 1.44 fatalities per 100,000 flying hours...
To achive the same rate of fatalities (1.5 fatalities per million (air) miles) a helicopter would have to average 1000miles per hour of operation.
Pick an average speed for helicopter operations I'll use 100mph for easy math and it comes out with helicopters 10 times more dangerous than driving, not 85. The methodology isn't perfect but I think the result is more accurate.
Edited by 500F, 28 January 2013 - 19:09.