Knock on wood, but the US hasn't seen a fatal commercial jetliner crash in exactly four years—a new record. And no stat encapsulates just how safe flying has become more than this one: A US passenger now has a one in 45-million-flights death risk, which statistically means you could fly every day for about 123,000 years before dying in an accident. And things are pretty rosy around the globe: Last year was commercial aviation's safest year since 1945, with just 475 fatalities worldwide.
Better planes, improved communication, and more advanced equipment, like navigation technology, are behind the safer figures, the New York Times reports. Another big improvement: Regulators are much more proactive about safety, as evidenced by the grounding of the Boeing 787 fleet before anyone was hurt. But experts say we shouldn't get too comfortable, since airports are more congested than ever and the FAA is having a hard time instituting new rules for better co-pilot training. (But speaking of phobias, here's one you definitely can't relax about: The University of Florida reports that US shark attacks hit a decade high last year at 53, the most since 2000. There were 80 unprovoked attacks globally, a slight uptick from 2011.)