Is There a Safer Seat on an Airplane?


Can where you sit make a difference in surviving an air-crash? Most airlines and aeronautic experts say there isn’t a difference but, Popular Mechanics did a study of air crashes from 1971 and found some interesting information on which seats are the safest on an airplane.

It is recognized that there are two times during an air flight when more accidents occur. In fact, over 75% of all accidents occur either during the take-off or the landing of the aircraft. But don’t let this fact deter you from flying. The statistics show that flying, by commercial aircraft, is 22 times safer than driving a motor vehicle on US roadways.

Also, the type of crash had an influence. Certain crashes changed the desired safest seat location, but on average the seats located towards the rear of the plane had the best survival rates. You may be giving away some comfort by choosing a seat towards the rear since the most stable seats especially for those of you that contend with motion sickness, would be the ones directly over the wings.

First class passengers may be more comfortable than the rest of the passengers, but the front of the plane has the lowest survival rates in air-crashes.

Here is the breakdown on survival rates:

First Class 49%

Ahead of Wing 56%

Over Wing 56%

Rear Cabin 69%

So if you are susceptible to motion sickness you may want to consider a seat with the least movement (over the wing), but if you are looking for just safety, then selecting a seat towards the rear of the plane as your best bet.

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