Last Updated on March 2, 2020
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Even though air travel is the safest way of transportation known to mankind, plane crashes do happen, and tragically, some people don’t make it out alive. Surviving an airplane crash isn’t really something that is on your hands, since most of the factors involved are pretty much out of your control, like the skills presented by the cabin crew, the weather, the way plane seats are designed, or even how old the plane is. However, there are some things that passengers can do in order to increase their chances of surviving such a tragedy. Here, you can find 8 tips on how to stay safe on a plane.
1. Choose your seat
Whatever your travel destination is when purchasing your flight tickets, you are given the option to choose where you want to sit. When it comes to safety concerns, experts have different opinions.
According to a study performed by Ed Galea, a professor at the University of Greenwich, people who sit within 5 rows of an emergency exit have better chances of surviving a plane crash. But experts at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration seem to think differently, as they say, that there are no safe plane seats, since there are various types of emergencies that can occur, and based on what happens, you will have to pick your way out.
2. Pay attention to the safety talk
We know it can be boring, especially if you fly frequently, but listening to the safety talk the flight attendants give before the plane takes off can literally save your life.
The safety procedures will let you know where all the exits are, how to get an oxygen mask, how to inflate your vest if there is a need to land in water, among other things. And yeah, maybe you already know what they are going to say, but it is always important to refresh your memory.
3. Read the safety card
The safety card is usually found in the seat in front of you, and you should really think of it as a map to survival. If the plane needs to be evacuated, you won’t be the only one who needs to leave, and the conditions in which you need to exit the plane might be unexpected.
That card will show you how to slide down an inflatable ramp, or how to get in an inflatable boat, and you should read it in order to be acquainted with all the flight safety procedures, and to know what to expect in case the worst happens.
4. Know how to brace
What is the safest way to sit when a plane is about to crash? Brace.
In an emergency like this, you will only have a couple of seconds to react, so it is better to know how to brace beforehand. If you hear the cabin crew members telling the passengers to make the brace position, you better know what they are talking about. This is the type of information you can find on the safety card.
5. Be aware of the exits
Before the plane departs, it is always good to acknowledge how close or far you are to the nearest exit. This way, if something happens, you will have a better chance of planning a successful escape.
Sometimes the emergency exit near your seat won’t be available, and you will need a backup plan, which is why it is so important to be aware of the space and the different exits on a plane.
6. Move quickly
According to Ben Sherwood, author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Survivor’s Club,” you have as little as 90 seconds to evacuate a plane after it crashes.
Often, the passengers will survive the initial impact, but what comes next can definitely kill them. And what is that? It can be fire, smoke, and even water sometimes. 90 seconds is the ideal time frame to guarantee that you escape. If there is smoke, try to crawl under it, so you can see where you are headed, and hold your breath as long as you can.
7. Be alert during takeoffs and landings
If you want to increase your chances of surviving an airplane crash, you should pay special attention during the takeoff and the landing, since statistics show that it is within minutes of these two events that the plane is more likely to crash.
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, as being intoxicated won’t help, and can even impair your ability to respond to a crisis. Also, try not to sleep during landing and takeoff. Always have your shoes on, and pick comfortable and practical shoes. Pay attention to what is going on, since a crash can occur in a matter of minutes.
8. Stay fit
This isn’t really something you can prepare 3 or 4 days before boarding a plane, but if you are in shape, you are more likely to survive a plane crash.
People who are fit will move faster, which gives them an advantage if there is the need to evacuate a plane, as overweight people will have more trouble moving, and therefore more trouble escaping.