You’re really quite safe when traveling by airline. It’s the safest way to travel and each plane is carefully inspected prior to each flight and there are a number of instruments that make sure the craft is operating properly in the air as well. From time to time there is an airline incident or accident that makes headlines worldwide and can have you apprehensive about flying altogether. You can however learn a bit more about airline travel safety and calm your nerves the next time you get on an airplane.
First off, over 75% of people involved in serious plane crashes or accidents survive. Those are pretty good statistics when you consider that it’s rare for any given plane to go down. Even the most frequent traveler has a 1 in 20,000 chance which is slim odds when you realize that in the United States thousands of people die on the roads each year. You can find out the statistics on the aircraft or individual airline you are flying by checking out Plane Crash Info which has a lot of information on the topic.
One way you can help yourself before any airplane ride though is to book a seat close to one of the exits. Studies have shown those sitting within a few rows of any exit stand a much better chance of escaping and ultimately surviving a plane crash. After the initial impact of a crash, the most important point of survival is to get away from the aircraft quickly and avoid any flames inside. Most crashes happen during the first and last 30 minutes of flight – when people tend to be tucked away in a book or blasting their headphones. Don’t use this time to get caught up on a nap but stay alert and pay attention to the flight safety speech and make note of the safety card in front of you. Make note of where the exits are and stay buckled up for the entire duration of the flight whenever you are in your seat. That can not only help in case of a disaster but in the much more common scenario of being in heavy turbulence and getting bumped around.
Wear The Right Shoes
You don’t want to wear those cute little heels or your favorite sandals when you get on a plane. It’s true that increasing your chance for a sprained ankle, cut, or dirt won’t help your travel health any but you want to wear shoes you can be mobile in. You’ll also want to avoid any materials like nylon that are highly flammable. Not to be paranoid but these small things can help you avoid injury even if you’re just stuck in one of the best airports to sleep in due to excessive delays.
Leave Your Things Behind
If you do need to exit an aircraft due to an emergency, leave your bags behind. Trying to get stuff out of backpacks and purses is one of the most common ways people get killed after a crash (really) so if there’s something you highly value, keep it in your pockets. If it doesn’t fit there just forget about it, your life isn’t worth it. Keep in mind too that when you do get off the airplane, try and get about 150 meters or 500 feet away from the craft. That’s a good distance to avoid any explosions and still be found by rescue crews without getting lost yourself.
Some other basic advice on airline travel safety is to stay sober at take-off and close to landing and don’t worry so much about flying. As you’ve probably heard over and over, the car ride to the airport is much more dangerous…statistically.