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Airline Fatalities at Their Lowest as 2011 Winds Down

Literally thousands of passengers pass through the LAX, Los Angeles International Airport every single day. These passengers walk through the terminal and board airplanes, putting their lives in the hands of those that fly, operate, maintain and build the aircraft.

When lives are lost in an airplane crash, there is no amount of money which can bring back a loved one. We all know that is impossible. However, when family members of plane crash victims file wrongful death lawsuits, it helps bring about changes in the industry. Airlines and plane manufacturers and others in the industry are forced to take a hard look at safety procedures and processes to ensure that more accidents do not happen.

There is cause for celebration as the year 2011 winds down. According to data collected by a United Nations aviation agency, the first 11 months of the year were the safest in history in terms of airline travel. In fact, in the same period of 2010 there were 784 passengers or crew members who lost their lives in airline-related accidents. That number decreased down to 486 fatalities this year.

According to the data, the most common accidents did not happen when the craft was even in the air. Most accidents occurred on the ground under the category "runway excursions." Runway excursions happen when an airplane either overshoots the runway or veers off the side. Approximately 23 percent of all airline crashes fell under this category in the first 11 months.

While any decrease in serious accidents or deaths is surely something to celebrate, even one crash or one death is too many.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "First 11 months of 2011 were safest for air travel on record," Hugo Martin, Dec. 19, 2011

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