The Top 5 Safest Modes of Travel

Retirement is the time in your life to enjoy and travel. If plans were successful, you likely have enough to enjoy one or two trips per year, if not more. However, as eager as many retirees are to travel, the news of plane crashes, boats capsizing, or train derailments can quickly curb the enthusiasm.  

It is crucial to note that most fear is irrational and that irrationality plays into the trepidation towards most popular forms of travel. After all, many retirees won't think twice about driving to the grocery store despite car travel being over 100 times more likely to end in death than traveling by plane. 

Still, to put retired minds at ease, it is necessary to explore the most popular modes of travel and determine which are safest. Understanding the safest ways to travel should get you excited to tour the globe again.

1. Planes

Despite the negative publicity and scrutiny that occurs after a plane crash, commercial airline travel is the safest mode of transportation, especially when flying an American airline. From 2000 to 2009, there were approximately 646 airplane deaths, which is scary, but of that total, 549 deaths involved private or recreational airplanes. Airline accidents only accounted for .006 deaths per billion miles of U.S. air travel, with most of those deaths occurring in small air taxis and private planes.

2. Buses

While a broad category that includes everything from school buses and charter coaches to airport shuttles and municipal fleets, traveling by bus is the second safest method of transportation. It is four times safer than traveling by train, and it is nearly 50 times safer than taking a private car, accounting for only 10% of annual road fatalities.

In recent years, the bus industry has improved its safety record by increasing driver certification and licensing requirements, improving manufacturing technology, and partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation to create new and robust safety standards.

3. Trains

While a train derailment or collision is bound to make the headlines, it is not because of the frequency of the event. Train accidents make headlines because they are rare, just like plane crashes.

More importantly, while trains come in at number three for safest modes of transportation, most fatalities are the result of trespassing incidents onto active tracks and highway level crossing accidents. Taking these incidents into account, commercial train travel is undoubtedly one of the safest traveling methods.

4. Boats

Nearly 90% of all boating-related deaths are the result of personal and recreational boating accidents. Cruise liners, passenger boats, and ferries are virtually tied with train travel as a safe mode of travel. However, early in the pandemic, cruise liners did have a difficult time containing outbreaks. Since then, commercial liners have instituted strict protocols for screenings and testing, meaning future travel should be safer.

5. Cars

Cars are the least safe travel option, which many people find surprising because it is their primary mode of transportation. It would be best if you remembered, it is not about how safe you drive; it is about how safe other people drive. With nearly 6,000,000 accidents per year, it is easy to consider the death toll to be astronomical, but in comparison, few of those accidents result in death or severe injury. 

While it is easy to let fear rule your retirement, it is a mistake. Don't waste the rest of your life wondering what else is out there. Use one of the above modes of transportation and explore all the world and retirement have to offer.

How will you travel in retirement? Comment below.