AirTalk for July 9, 2013

Why flying phobias persist despite soaring airline safety records

Fear of flying

elaine faith/Flickr

Despite statistics telling of the improbability of plane crashes, many people are still afraid of flying. This weekend's Asiana plane crash that killed two passengers may have exacerbated that fear.

The dramatic images of Saturday's Asiana Airlines' crash stir fears of flying, but the sober statistics of plane crashes tell a different story. According to a notable scholar from MIT, the chance of dying in an airplane disaster in the U.S. is 1 in 14 million. Travelling abroad? World-wide, 2012 was the safest year for commercial air travel since 1945. Put another way, MIT’s Arnold Barnett says flying has become so reliable that you could fly every day for 123,000 years before being in a fatal crash.

So why are people still afraid of flying? Some are so scared that careers get derailed, vacations never got off the ground, and far-away loved ones get fed up with one-way visits. UCLA psychologist Emanuel Maidenberg joins AirTalk to explain the causes of and cures for aerophobia.

Guest:
Emanuel Maidenberg, PhD, Psychologist with the UCLA Health System; he specializes in anxiety disorders


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