Why do we fear plane crashes when the ride to the airport is more dangerous?

Tom Keane in the Boston Globe:

The day after a Southwest jet engine exploded, killing one, I’m in a Lyft heading toward Logan Airport, bound for my own trip on the same airline.

“Have a safe flight,” the driver tells me as he drops me at Terminal A. His well-meaning words shake me. I feel a hard knot of panic in my chest.

On board, I initially choose an aisle seat. On that ill-fated plane, it was a woman sitting by the window who was nearly sucked out and later died. But then, in some small show of courage, I move over to the window. I soon regret the decision. In the air, my knuckles are white as I grip my chair, looking out nervously at the jet engine just behind me. As we roll to a stop on the runway, I send a relieved text to friends: “Landed!”

In truth, my drive from my home to the airport was more dangerous than my flight. In 2016, more than 40,000 people died on American roads. Meanwhile, the Southwest death was the first in nine years in American skies. The chance of being killed in the air is almost infinitesimally small. But the odds of dying in a car: Much higher.

More here.