Pop culture and the sporting world is in shock over the deaths of NBA great Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter and 7 others in a helicopter crash Sunday near Los Angeles.

Investigators are looking to determine the cause of the accident with early indications suggesting the crash likely was weather-related. We add our sympathies with millions of others for the surviving family members of all on board.

It seems like any time there crash of chopper or plane, the conversation focuses for a time on the safety of air travel.

But according to EurekAlert, a new study finds there's never been a safer time to fly on a commercial airline.

MIT researchers found that between 2008 and 2017, airline passenger fatalities fell significantly compared to the previous decade, as measured per individual passenger boardings. Globally, the rate is now one death per 7.9 million passenger boardings, compared to one death per 2.7 million boardings during the period of 1998 to 2007, and one death per 1.3 million boardings from 1988 to 1997.

Study leaders say improvements continue even though safer and further gains become harder to achieve with it being suggested that, "The risk is so low that being afraid to fly is a little like being afraid to go into the supermarket because the ceiling might collapse."