If you’re unfortunate enough to be a passenger involved in a serious accident, whether it’s on public transport or in a car, where you choose to sit could literally make the difference between life and death.
Where is the safest place to sit on an aeroplane?
Aircraft are statistically one of the safest forms of travel, due to the high level of training commercial pilots receive, and the fastidious maintenance programs airline companies in the developed world must adhere to. However in the event of a crash, your seat number could be your ticket to another chance at life. While different air accidents will inevitably result in a wide variety of impact scenarios, in general the further back you sit, the more likely you are to survive. Data from 20 fatal accidents in the US since 1971 showed that passengers sitting behind the trailing edge of the wing had a 69% chance of survival, passengers over the wing had a 56% chance of living to see another day, and passengers sitting in first class or in seats ahead of the wing had just a 49% chance of surviving. Out of the 20 accidents used in the survey, 11 significantly favored passengers towards the rear of the aircraft, 5 favored passengers towards the front of the plane, and in the other four there was no significant difference.
Where is the safest place to sit on a bus?
According to accident investigators and safety experts, the safest place to sit on a bus is on an inside aisle seat, towards the middle of the vehicle. Being further away from the windows gives some protection from flying glass, and being in the middle of the bus means you’re less likely to be injured by either a high-speed rear end collision or a head-on impact. Sitting in an aisle seat also means there’s less chance of getting trapped in by some freak with bad breath who wants to talk to you about their reptile collection.
Where is the safest place to sit on a train?
Like a bus, if you’re travelling on a train, you’re best off looking for a seat in the middle. That means aisle seat, middle of the carriage, and in a carriage in the middle of the train. Surviving a collision, in any vehicle, is all about letting the impact energy dissipate as much as possible before your body is subjected to it. If one or two carriages in front (or behind) have taken the brunt of the collision, then the sudden deceleration (or acceleration in the case of a rear-ending) will be less ferocious in the carriage you’re occupying.
Where is the safest place to sit in a car?
Oddly, the least popular position in a car – middle of the backseat – is statistically the safest place to sit. Research by the University of Buffalo in 2006, using information from 60,000 fatal car crashes, found that middle-seat back-seat passengers were 86% more likely to survive than front seat passengers, and they were 25% more likely to survive than the other two backseat passengers. Be warned though, if the middle-seat passenger doesn’t buckle up then they’re three times more likely to die. And it’s not just their life they’re endangering. Buckled-in front seat passengers are FIVE TIMES more likely to die if the person sitting behind them doesn’t bother to buckle up. This is due to the fact that during a head-on collision the rear seat passenger is thrown forward violently, often resulting in their head smashing into the back of the head of the person in front.
Sources: Popular Mechanics, University of Buffalo