Personally I have only been on one once and thought it was rickity as all hell. But as far as the general info on this goes they are quite safe. At least as much as the modern day planes seen flying above you. They are very sensative to weather and are far more dangerous when conditions such as wind and lightning are present (much like planes once again)!
Hot air balloons are considered to be pretty safe as long as the person operating the balloon is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (which is required by law). There is really no way to steer them so the balloon is at the mercy of the winds which can cause collisions with buildings and electrical lines. From 1993 to 1997 there were 99 accidents which caused 7 deaths.
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