Many people think that it is very hard to survive a plane crash, especially when you see news coverage of planes turning into fireballs and falling from over 25,000 feet. However, expert studies and analysis of past airplane accidents suggest there is over 95% chance of survival in a plane crash.
There are of course instances where everyone on board the plane has died, but such instances are considered rare. According to NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board), about 76% passengers survived in serious plane accidents where there was fire and considerable damage to the plane. Here are certain things you could do to maximize your survival chances in a plane crash.
Get Out Fast
In a scenario where the plane has managed to crash land and you are still in one piece, your chances of survival will then depend on how fast you get out of the plane. Most experts feel that you have about 90 seconds to get out after the plane has come to a halt. In most plane crashes, the impact is not the main reason for killing the most passengers, but the fire that envelops the plan after the landing.
Most people underestimate, how fast a fire can spread and totally envelop the plane, which is a big mistake. On an average, it will take only 90 seconds for the fire to spread from the fuselage to the entire plane, and therefore you need to get out fast.
Being Physically Fit
Studies conducted by FAA suggest that thinner people who are young have the best chances of survival in a plane crash, whereas fat old women have the least chance. The gender, age, and weight of the person again have to do with the time it takes them to evacuate from the plane. In a plane crash, you will have to quickly steer yourself through wreckage and luggage strewn around in narrow aisles.
You might have to jump from a height or slip through a narrow emergency exit that may have a width of only about twenty inches. People who are out of shape will not only be able to exit slower, but they will also reduce the chances of survival of other people by creating hold-ups at the emergency exits.
Reserve a Seat Nearest to an Exit
Generally, people believe that the seats at the back of the plane are the safest in a crash. However, studies show that each plane crash is different, and planes can crash on their tails as well. So which part of the plane you are seated will not make much of a difference in your chances of survival.
However, your nearness to an exit can improve your chances of survival quite dramatically. The best seat would be the first in an exit row, where you will be first one to exit. If you are unable to reserve such a seat then the next best option is the aisle seat. Hence, avoid the window seat and seats in the bulkhead rows.