The safest place to sit on a plane is behind the wings.
A Popular Mechanics study of 20 commercial jet crashes with both fatalities and survivors found that passengers seated in the rear cabin (behind the wings) had a 69 percent chance of survival, compared with just 49 percent for those in first class.
But you don’t have to sacrifice leg room for safety’s sake: exit rows are perhaps the safest place to sit on the whole plane.
In the event of an evacuation, the closer you are to an exit, the higher the chance you’ll escape unscathed.
The safest way to sit during a crashis to brace yourself (literally).
In a 2015 crash simulation, Boeing found that passengers who both wore their seat belts and assumed a brace position (feet flat, head cradled against their knees or the seat in front of them if possible) were likeliest to survive a crash.
Seat-belted fliers who did not brace suffered serious head injuries, and those with no seat belts or bracing died on impact.
You go through many hoops at the airport in the lead up to taking a flight, so it may seem shocking that your seat isn’t a guarantee. Know your rights as a passenger.
4. During a crash
The first thing you should do during a crash is put on the oxygen mask the minute it drops.
During a loss of cabin pressure, the fall in oxygen can knock you unconscious in as little as 20 seconds.
Listen to your flight attendants: always secure your oxygen mask before helping others.
The best shoes to wear on a plane never leave your feet. Hassle-free flip-flops might seem like a good idea for braving airport security, but in the chaos of a crash or evacuation, they’ll only slow you down.
Likewise, high heels can lead to stumbling, and may even be sharp enough to pop the inflatable exit slide.
Wear a pair of comfy flats or sneakers, and keep them on your feet through the whole flight.
Not only can loose shoes get in other passengers’ way and hinder your own mobility during an evacuation, but also remember that nobody wants to smell your stinky feet.
And statistically, that is a far greater threat to air travel than any crash.