dying on a plane also depends on the airline. I've flown a few domestic and international lines that were great. flew air indonesia or whatever the national airline is there 2 years ago (shortly after they were approved to fly anywhere again) and OMG I thought i was gonna die. if that plane were a car it'd be an 86 buick running on 1/2qt of oil, 3/6 cylinders, no struts left, etc.
I think partially it's how the statistics are compared (time on a plane vs distance traveled and number of accidents vs survival rate of accidents vswhatever) but far more so how they are presented. wording is everything.
This matters more in public opinion surveys than anything else. I'm thinking back to the family guy episode where brian is accused of impregnating peuterschmits greyhound and they're grilling him in court... "which of the phrases would you say best describes brian: problem drinker or african american haberdasher?" as opposed to "do you think he's be a good parent" Public opinion surveys can be mangled the same way (though usually aren't as obvious). gotta love agree, disagree, neutral as options for your opinion.
1991 Toyota Pickup 22R-E 2.4 I4/5 speed
1990 Toyota Cressida 7M-GE 3.0 I6/5-speed manual
mechanic, carpenter, stagehand, rigger, and know-it-all smartass
"You don't get to judge me for how I fix what you break"
i'm w/ ya there. again, the human factor is HUGE. how many auto collisions are human error? i have a friend and fellow truck driver that has logged more than 1 million miles w/out a collision--and that's not including his personal vehicle.
no link or stats, but i suspect a greater % of plane crashes have at least a greater degree of mechanical failure. point is, autos should be safer than they are!