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Survey: Americans' fears of flying are getting worse

YouGov fear of flying

(YouGov)

The number of Americans who aren't afraid to fly fell to its lowest point (41 percent) in 30 years, a recent survey by the Economist and YouGov found.

The elevated fear of flying follows March's Germanwings plane crash. More than eight in 10 Americans believe the crash into the French Alps, which killed all 150 people on board, was deliberate, according to the YouGov poll.

As the chart above shows, Americans' concerns with flying rose after 9/11 and a 1996 plane crash off Long Island, which was originally speculated to be a terrorist attack but turned out to be caused by a fuel tank explosion.

Despite the increase in concerns, flying is actually safer than ever, even as more people and commercial planes take to the skies. As Joseph Stromberg explained, fewer commercial planes are crashing year after year, and commercial airline fatalities are generally trending down, due to improved plane design and technology and effective investigations and corrections of the factors that cause the crashes that do occur.

Watch: Believe it or not, flying is safer than ever