Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Safety

Skydiving Safety

The sport of skydiving continues to improve its safety record. In 2019, USPA recorded 15 fatal skydiving accidents in the U.S. out of roughly 3.3 million jumps! That’s one fatality per 220,301 jumps! Tandem skydiving has an even better safety record, with one student fatality per 500,000 tandem jumps over the past decade. According to the National Safety Council, a person is much more likely to be killed getting struck by lightning or stung by a bee.

In the 1970s, the sport averaged 42.5 skydiving fatalities per year. Since then, the average has dropped each decade. In the 1980s, the average was 34.1; in the 1990s, the average was 32.3, and in the first decade of the new millennium (2000-2009), the average dropped again to 25.8. Over the past ten years, the annual average continues its decline to 20.7.

With 14 fatalities, 1961—the first year records were kept—previously stood as the year with the fewest skydiving fatalities. However, there were far fewer skydivers then (just 3,353 USPA members compared to roughly 40,000 now), making far fewer jumps than today.

In 2019, USPA members in the U.S. reported 2,522 skydiving injuries requiring a medical care facility. That’s approximately 1 injury per 1,310 skydives.

These safety records stand as a testament to decades of strict safety standards, training policies and programs, including a USPA Safety Day taking place every March, as well as improvements in skydiving equipment over the years.

Skydiving involves inherent risks, but most skydiving accidents result from human error. With proper preparation and good judgment, skydivers can minimize those risks. Thanks to safer equipment, better training and the staffs at more than 220 USPA-affiliated skydiving centers across the country, skydiving continues to become safer.

Safe Skydiving Centers

Skydiving centers, clubs and schools that join as USPA Group Member drop zones are required to provide USPA-developed first-jump courses, use current USPA-rated instructors and provide USPA-required skydiving equipment. Find a list here of USPA Group Members.

Fatalities Per Total Jumps

Year Skydiving
Fatalities in U.S.
Estimated
Annual Jumps
Fatalities Per
100,000 Jumps
2019 15 3.3 million 0.45
2018 13 3.3 million 0.39
2017 24 3.2 million 0.75
2016 21 3.2 million 0.66
2015 21 3.5 million 0.60
2014 24 3.2 million 0.75
2013 24 3.2 million 0.75
2012 19 3.1 million 0.61
2011 25 3.1 million 0.81
2010 21 3.0 million 0.70
2009 16 3.0 million 0.53
2008 30 2.6 million 1.15
2007 18 2.5 million 0.72
2006 21 2.5 million 0.84
2005 27 2.6 million 1.04
2004 21 2.6 million 0.81
2003 25 2.6 million 0.96
2002 33 2.6 million 1.27
2001 35 2.6 million 1.35
2000 32 2.7 million 1.19