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2012 was a landmark year for commercial aviation safety

According to the research organization Aviation Safety Network, 2012 was the safest year for commercial air travel since 1945. In the United States, it has been more than four years since a fatal commercial air accident occurred, which should make frequent flyers breathe a sigh of relief.

Worldwide, 2012 saw 23 fatal accidents with a total of 475 deaths. That's 475 too many, but it's less than half the number of fatalities that occurred in 2000. The rapid improvement can be attributed to a variety of factors, including improved plane safety, better education of passengers and technology that allows safety researchers to explore crash solutions so airlines are prepared before an accident occurs.

It is important to keep in mind that this data relates to commercial airlines and doesn't necessarily reflect the trends and realities of smaller carriers and private flights. Smaller planes often leave the pilot and passengers more vulnerable, and private flights may not have the manpower or resources to pursue the same rigorous safety standards as the commercial airline industry.

If you find yourself involved in an airplane or helicopter accident that results in injury - or, even worse, the death of a loved one - you may have a lot of questions. Aviation accident cases present unique challenges in terms of interpreting limited evidence and determining the cause of the crash. It helps to have someone with experience on your side.

Consider getting in touch with a personal injury attorney who has experience in aviation accident claims. He or she can work with you to track down the available evidence, determine the cause of the accident and help you pursue any legal claims for damages that may be available.

Source: The New York Times, "2012 Was the Safest Year for Airlines Globally Since 1945," Jad Mouawad and Christopher Drew, Feb. 11, 2013

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