flight safety
1:57 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Safety advances boost plane crash survival odds

Passengers in plane crashes today, such as the one in San Francisco involving Asiana Airlines Flight 214, are more likely to survive than in past disasters.

Saturday's crash was the latest where a jetliner was destroyed but most passengers survived. Only 2 of the 307 passengers and crew onboard died.

Seats are stronger, and fire retardant cushions and carpeting give passengers more time to escape. Lights on the floor pinpoint exits in the dark and doors are easier to open. New cockpit technology helps pilots avoid the deadliest crashes, such as planes hitting mountains or other planes in mid-air.

A decade ago, passengers were 10 times as likely to die when flying on an American plane then they are today, according to an Associated Press analysis of government accident data.