It's been a bizarre year for airliine crashes. Malaysia Airlines 370 is still missing, presumably lost in the depths of the Indian Ocean, possibly due to a pilot going amok. It took four months to recover the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines 17 that was shot down by Ukrainian rebels backed by Russia. And now AirAsia QZ8501 is likely missing at the bottom of the Java Sea, possibly as a result of encountering an especially heavy storm.
Despite these horrific crashes, the Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives reports that globally there have been 111 crashes in 2014, the lowest number since 1927. On the other hand, there have been 1,326 deaths in airline crashes this year, up from 459 last year which was the safest year since the advent of jet travel. The worst year for air travel was 1972 when 3,346 people died in crashes.
When assessing the safety of air travel keep in mind that 1.24 million people die each year in road accidents.