Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Even skydiving is safer

I found this great page all about skydiving safety statistics. (I am on the Internet a LOT.) Did you know how many fatal skydiving accidents there were in the U.S. in 2012? Only 19. If that still seems like a lot, consider the total number of jumps: 3.1 million. That's a .0006% fatality rate. (And there were only 915 non-fatal injuries, as well: roughly 3 injuries per 10,000 jumps.) That's a lot safer than I think I expected.

But that's not the cool part. We have no real way of knowing if that number is good or bad. We need context: is this more or less safe than in the past?

Turns out it's much more safe. That fatality rate has been cut in half just in the past decade. Before that, we don't have all the same data available here, but if we judge by U.S. Parachute Association membership as a proxy for jumps, we see the rate of fatalities per thousand members go from 3.65 in the 1960s steadily and consistently down to 0.64 today.

These trends mirror lots of declining death and injury rates from all sorts of accidents. I had known about other stats, but it was fascinating to see the same trend even in such a seemingly dangerous arena as skydiving.

This guy is way safer than he used to be.

Page is here: USPA: Skydiving Safety