The safest seat on a plane
The odds of dying in a plane crash are about one in 11 million, but your chances of surviving depend on where you choose to sit.
An aviation expert found a 44% mortality rate for passengers seated at the aisle in the middle of the aircraft, compared with 28% for passengers seated in the center rear.
Doug Drury, a professor at Central Queensland University, said that because aisle seats do not provide an insulating barrier on one side, passengers are more likely to experience accidents.
Those unable to take the safer seats may have a better chance of surviving in the middle and at the window in the middle of the plane.
However, the likelihood of dying in a plane crash depends not so much on where you sit, but on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Drory shared this information with The Conversation, reassuring travelers that “air travel is the safest mode of transport.”
However, planes do crash, so he shared the best and worst places to sit on a plane.
The professor explained that in 1989, United Flight 323 crashed in Sioux City, Iowa. Of the 269 passengers on board, 184 survived – most of them sat behind first class, closer to the front of the aircraft.
A 35-year investigation by TIME found that seats in the rear third of an aircraft have a 32 percent fatality rate, compared to 39 percent in the middle third and 38 percent in the front third.
A study from the University of Greenwich found that plane crash survivors who sit closer to the emergency exit have a faster exit route, making them more likely to walk away from the crash.
The researchers found that seats five rows away from the exit were more likely to escape in the event of a fire.
However, if sitting six or more rows from the exit, “the chances of dying far outweigh the chances of surviving.”
The study shows whether there is only a “minor” difference at the aisle.
Scientists studied the stories of 2,000 survivors of 105 plane crashes around the world.
And when it comes to surviving a fire, those who sit in the aisle have a “marginal” 65% chance of surviving than those sitting by the window (58%).
Passengers at the front of the plane had a 65% chance of escaping, while passengers at the rear only had a 53% chance.
Robert Gifford, director of the Parliamentary Advisory Board for Transport Safety, said: “Your chances of survival should not depend on your ability to pay for an emergency exit seat or book a seat online.”
The study looked at various aviation accidents, including on-board fires and accidents. One was the 1985 Manchester Airport fire that killed 55 people aboard a British Airtours 737 due to an engine explosion.
The fire caused one side of the aircraft to catch fire, blocking several exits. The study found that passengers who died, on average, sat more than twice as far from a useful exit as survivors.
All aircraft must pass an unloading test within 90 seconds. On tests, the crew rescued passengers.
But the report says that the experimental situations did not take into account the “social bonds” between passengers – for example, adults tend to help children escape.
Exits may be unusable or blocked, and some of the flight crew may have died during the accident.
Passengers in the study were more likely to follow flight crew instructions during testing than in emergencies.
According to a 2008 study, “in real-life emergencies where passengers may have a choice of escape route, they may end up ignoring crew orders and attempting to use the nearest exit.”
Source: Daily Mail
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