A lot of people choose the seat for their flight based on its proximity to the restroom or whether they want extra legroom or not. However, if you’re anything like us and anytime you get on a plane you wonder which seat is actually the safest one to be in during an emergency, we have the answer for you. An aviation expert has weighed in to inform travelers which is the best spot when it comes to disembarking quickly.
Many people will do everything to avoid sitting in the middle seats in the last row, but funnily enough, these are statistically the safest seats in the whole aircraft. According to an investigation done by TIME, analyzing 35 years of aircraft accidents has shown that the middle rear seats of the airplane had the lowest fatality rate, at 28%, whereas the middle aisle seats were at 44%.
Those seated in the front have a higher chance of being impacted before those seated in he back. The main reason why the middle seats are safer is due to the fact that there is a buffer provided by the people seated on either side of the middle seat passenger.
Of course, survivability has a lot to do with the type fo emergency that is involved. However, pilots have ample training in minimizing potential risk during emergency situations as best as possible. Pilots know to look for level areas like open fields and to avoid mountains. Landing in water is trickier, but pilots also go through training to learn how to do it properly.
Plane are designed to be very robust for these types of emergencies as well. The reason why we’re encouraged to keep our seatbelts on during the entire flight is not because of risk of crashing, but instead of clear air turbulence that can happen at any time while in high altitudes. This is actually the highest risk of causing most damage to both passengers and the airplane.
While the physics of flight is typically the same for all airplanes, the size of the plane also makes a bit of a difference. Larger planes have more material and in turn more strength to withstand pressurization and could provide more protection in some emergency situations.
However, overall air travels remains the safest mode of transportation. There would a bit under 70 million flights around the world in 2019, and only 287 fatalities out of those millions of flights. The odds of dying in a plane are 1 in 205,552 as opposed to 1 in 102 while sitting in a car.
So while you can book that back row middle seat to make yourself feel a little bit better, air travel is still very safe. We suggest you focus on getting good snacks and choosing the best movie to watch during your flight.