Whoever said that “flying is exponentially safer than driving” apparently never read CALLBACK, the official newsletter of the Aviation Safety Reporting System. The ASRS is a division of NASA that collects and tracks the thousands of "Holy crap, you will never believe that really happened" aviation safety reports candidly filed by pilots, crew, and air traffic controllers each year. Near misses, cabin fires, weird smells, mechanical failures -- it all gets submitted anonymously (to encourage full disclosure without fear of repercussions) in an effort to identify mistakes and improve air safety.
And the editors of the newsletter compile the best of the bunch into fun little excerpts that they post online, so we can all read about how close we almost came to dying the last time we flew home for the holidays. Most of the reports are written in pilot jargon, but if you don't mind that, they can be a fascinating (albeit, troubling) read.