How to survive a plane crash

I’m currently reading Ben Sherwood’s The Survivors Club, a fascinating book which discusses amongst other things the myths associated with flying. For example the myth of hopelessness – the belief that when a plane crashes the majority of the passengers die, in fact the opposite is true over 95%* of passengers survive (*National Transportation Safety Board).

I was hoping that in the unfortunate event of being involved in a plane crash that this book would provide me with the crucial information needed to survive, which seat gives me the best chance of survival? It seems that the jury is out on this one with conflicting research on where the safest seat is located. The graphic below is based on the Popular Mechanics Survival Rates and indicates the closer to the tail you are, the better your chances of survival. I liked the infographic below because its simple and uses colour to communicate the statistics clearly.

Survival Rates

Infographic produced by The Telegraph

However the latest research from the University of Greenwich suggests that the front of the plane is your best bet for survival and that the five row rule (a seat within five rows of an emergency exit) and an aisle seat are both crucial to increasing your survival chances.

ps David McCandless also produced an information graphic on this subject.

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About Richard Overy

Photographer, Collector & Creative
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