Well, there's proof that flying is clearly safer, but highway mileage is having less and less of an impact as cars get newer. With the vehicles I drive, I cruise at anywhere between 65 and 80 mph depending on the state and it's posted limit, and their 5-speed automatics do that at or under 2,000 rpms. The guys from Car Talk
(a silly but interesting radio show/newspaper column) recommend 2 hours of driving and then 10-15 minutes of rest for older vehicles (and also for the driver too), and I think I follow that pretty well without even meaning to, despite the vehicles being pretty new. Usually it's the restroom or gas tank telling us to stop, but sometimes something catches the eye giving me reason to take an exit and shoot some pictures.
I don't believe that I've ever let go of a vehicle due to something that was directly or even remotely the result of distance driving wear and tear:
'85 Volvo - no garage, exposed to too much city-driving road salt ~ rusted to death (non-body was pretty much perfect), just over 200K miles. Doors, wheel wells, rocker panels, fenders, floor, exhaust, you name it, it rusted.
'91 Toyota micro-pickup drove 266,000 miles, many of which were pulling trailer loads of firewood or a large boat that were illegally much too heavy for it up and down mountains, lots of teenage/college shenanigans (popping clutch/rough shifting every damn time), hit a few deer (2 at one time, one on a separate occasion) ~ new clutch at around 170K, and at 266, original tranny finally died, rest of truck was fine except just a couple inconspicuous hints of rust and a dirty interior; decided to trade it in; probably should have just rebuilt the tranny. I loved that little thing. It was a load of fun and seemed indestructible.
'99 Tundra - was still in perfect mechanical shape when I sold it to a bud in South Dakota that gave me an offer I couldn't refuse when it wasn't even for sale (quite a bit more than it was worth); only had about 78K on it when I let it go. It's only problems were lots of clear-coat imperfections due to being in the woods and brush so much - stuff that didn't make it to the bare metal that you could see when light reflected off it. It also had countless little dings/mini-dents inside the bed from throwing shit in so much.
Camry (still have it) other than some body blemishes that are my own damn fault, it runs and feels new at 120,000+; I'm hoping to double that before I let it go.
Tacoma (just got it in July) isn't a year old yet; too early to tell what it's fate will be. I think it has around 12,600 miles so far. No dings in this bed though - the composite material is a true godsend - takes some pretty brutal abuse without dinging or cracking. My goal on this is 300,000 miles, but I have no way of knowing if I'll ever make that. Living in the booneys racks them up pretty quickly though.
Basically, not to get too far off track, I'm saying that if anything kills or even hurts a car of mine (for me at least), it isn't distance driving.
Wait, wasn't this thread about delayed planes due to a flight attendant fight? oops. Sorry guys. I'll go away now.