The safest seat to sit in during a plane crash – and why you should always fly in jeans

people inside airplane

The safest seat: Occupying a seat in the plane’s rear

Even though it is unpopular with passengers who want to get off the plane fast, a seat to sit in the back of the jet might be the safest option.

A 2015 study found that the front seats had a fatality rate of 38%, while the middle seats had a fatality rate of 39%.

The lowest death rate—32%—was in the back row seats.

The safest seat to sit in during a plane crash

Based on survival rates, the Aviation Safety Network examined 65 plane crashes and discovered that the safest seat in a palne is in the back in more than half of the cases.

“I cannot think of anything that would make sitting upfront safer [and] in an actual accident, best chances of survival are usually in the rear.”

Harro Ranter chief executive of the Aviation Safety Network

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The study indicated that a middle seat in the back of a plane has a mortality risk of just 28%, whereas an aisle seat in the center of the cabin has a mortality rate of 44%.

The safest seat to sit in during a plane crash

Wearing the right clothes

What you wear can also have an impact.

Shoes are one of the most important items to wear on a plane, and you should avoid taking them off when boarding.

According to a Boeing study, half of all plane crashes occur during takeoff and landing.

Following a collision, fire or broken glass could obstruct the aisle, making it difficult to escape barefoot.

person wearing gray low top shoes
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According to Christine Negroni, a plane crash expert and author of The Crash Detectives: Investigating The World’s Most Mysterious Air Disasters, there are many things passengers can do to help themselves after a crash.

“One of the best things people can do is put their shoes on for takeoff and landing,” she said. Many airlines still do not require this, and I believe it should be.

“When people are getting off a plane in a crash, there may be fire and debris, and it may be cold and wet. You might end up stepping on a large shard of aluminum.”

Flammable materials and baggy clothing are also prohibited, so choose cotton or wool clothing over polyester or nylon, and tighter trousers over loose dresses.

blue jeans clothes shopping
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“In terms of clothing, anything that isn’t too free flowing is a good idea,” Christine added. In this case, wearing jeans would have been appropriate, but you don’t want to go on every flight dressed for combat.

“Mainly err on the side of caution. Pick sneakers over high heels, pick natural fibres over synthetic, and take tight-fitting clothes over loose-fitting.”

During a plane crash, a Boeing pilot advised passengers to remove any sharp objects from their pockets and to count the seats to the nearest emergency exit.

Lacing your fingers could seriously injure you if you do the brace position incorrectly.

However, plane crashes are still extremely rare, with fatalities occurring only once every five million flights.

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