Here are the Safest and Most Dangerous Places to Sit On an Airplane

One of the things that nervous flyers worry about is the safest section of an airplane. Even if you’re cool, calm, and collected when flying, you may still wonder what part of the plane is ideal for safety reasons.

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to choose your seat, your options are all about location. Window? Aisle? Middle? Front? Back? Some people prefer to be close to the bathroom, while others like to scout out the exits.

Whatever your preference is, we know at times the lingering thought of a crash may still creep up. In that case, you want to make an informed choice. Studies support that there is a part of the plane that is safer: the rear.

A study by the Aviation Safety Network examined official aircraft accident reports and determined that there was a higher rate of survival for passengers seated in the back. They are not the only ones to have made this determination.

In 2007, Popular Mechanics combed through crash data from the National Transportation Safety Board and found seats behind the wing had a survival rate of 69%, while those in the front were at 49%. Central seats? They were at 56% for survivability.

A more recent study in 2015 by Time magazine’s researchers delved into data from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and arrived at a similar conclusion. Specifically, they learned that middle seats in the back of the plane had the least amount of fatalities.

According to their findings, seats in the back third were at 32% for fatalities while those in the aisle – middle seats – had the worst outcomes at a 44% fatality rate. Those closer to the exits had a better chance of escaping and surviving following a crash.

However, experts point out that there are other factors that impact survival patterns in emergency situations. Bear in mind that governing agencies such as the FAA and NTSB have not conducted any studies of their own about seat and survival correlation.

This is because when planes crash, it can be due to various circumstances as can the way the aircraft breaks or crashes. Frontal impacts will affect those in that part of the plane the most, but if the rear of the plane catches the worst of it, so do those passengers.

If you’re a nervous flyer, try going for the rear seats that are positioned in the middle. Anyone who’s a passenger can lessen their chances of injury or worse by taking note of where the exits are and listening to safety procedures. Yeah, the one that many folks tune out as it plays.

As far as transportation goes, flying is considered to be the safest option. It’s safer than driving! Click on this video from Smarter Travel to hear more about your seating choices and airplane safety. We’re not telling you to change your habits when selecting a seat, but this info can certainly help to ease the anxiety of worried travelers.

Are you a nervous flyer? Do you have a seat preference in case of emergency?