Is there a safest seat on a plane?
I have so far accounted for over 700 flights in over 12 years of domestic and international travel. Most of these were on board single-aisle aircraft, such as Boeing 737 or Airbus A320. There were also unique flights aboard some exotic aircraft, such as the MD-82, Airbus A310 or ATR 42, aircraft out of operational service in most countries around the world.
But I never thought about the safest seat on a plane, but about increased comfort depending on the duration. It is true that the flights so far have been without incidents/accidents and many of them even operated on time and without other organizational problems.
Do we choose the seat on the plane based on safety or comfort?
But there are people who use to choose their seat on the plane according to some criteria, which gives them a mental comfort that those are the safest seats. But are the fears founded? Over the years, there have been numerous researches and tests aimed at providing the answer to the question: "What is the safest seat on the plane?".
An expert claims to have found the answer and shared it with CNN. Before discussing the safest place on the plane, let's remember that millions of flights are operated every year, and those involved in incidents / accidents are in the order of tens. For example, in 2019, the busiest year in aviation history, more than 70 million flights were operated, carrying more than 4.5 billion passengers, and only 287 deaths were reported as a result of recorded accidents.
The odds of dying on a plane are about 1 in 205.552
According to data analysis by the US National Safety Council, the odds of dying in an airplane are about 1 in 205.552, compared to 1 in 102 in a car. Even so, we pay little attention to fatal road accidents, but cringe when another plane crash occurs.
Frankly speaking, there is no need to worry about safety when boarding a commercial flight. But if you still have the question "What is the safest place on the plane?", read on.
A Time.com investigation, which analyzed 35 years of accident data, reveals that the safest seats are the middle of the back rows, with a fatality rate of 28%, with far below the death rate of seats in the middle rows of the plane, which is 44%.
There is also a logical explanation. It is true that the seats near the emergency doors can give you a good chance of escape in the event of an aircraft accident, but the seats in the middle area are located near the wings, and this is where many fires occur due to engines and fuel tanks. This disqualifies the rows near the middle exits as the safest.
As for middle seats, they are safer than window or aisle seats because the buffer zone is provided by the people on either side.
Obviously, each accident is unique in its own way and there are no places that guarantee total protection, but there are factors that can influence this. Including the model of the plane can make the difference between life and death. However, the physics of flight are more or less the same in all airplanes.
In general, larger aircraft will have more structural material and therefore more strength to withstand pressurization at altitude. This means they can provide extra protection in an emergency – but this, again, is highly dependent on the severity of the emergency.
That doesn't mean you should book the next flight on the biggest plane you can find. As mentioned, air travel remains very safe. So I would suggest thinking about what movie you will be watching during the flight and less about aviation incidents and accidents!
We recommend that you pay attention to the instructions given by the flight attendants before the flight. It is very important to know where the life jacket is, how to put on your oxygen mask or what are the steps to follow during accidents.
In conclusion, as the study cited by Doug Drury, professor of aviation at Central Queensland University, says, there are places with a higher chance of survival, but there is no place that guarantees 100% total protection. Depending on the nature of the accident and the influencing factors, you can increase your chances of survival.