Airplanes are one of the safest modes of transportation, but air travel isn’t without its risks. Have you ever wondered if it’s safer to ride in front or back of the plane? There is some evidence to suggest that the seats in the back are the safest place to sit on a plane. Although the front of the plane is often more comfortable and convenient, the back of the plane is statistically safer.
Several organizations have conducted independent studies on the safest places to sit on a plane. They all independently determined that you can increase your odds of surviving a plane crash by sitting in the back of a plane.
- A 2007 study by Popular Mechanics analyzed data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and found that the survival rate (higher numbers are better) for passengers sitting in different parts of the plane varied depending on the location of the seat. The study found that passengers sitting in the front of the plane had a 49% survival rate, passengers sitting over the wing had a 56% survival rate, and passengers sitting in the rear of the plane, behind the wing, had a 69% survival rate.
- A study by the Aviation Safety Network found that passengers sitting in the back of the plane were more likely to survive a plane crash than passengers sitting in the front of the plane in a sample of 65 plane crashes. The study of plane crash survivors found that 72% of passengers sitting in the back of the plane survived, while only 62% of passengers sitting in the front of the plane survived.
- In 2015, Time magazine analyzed data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and found that in the event of a plane crash, seats located in the back of the plane have a lower fatality rate than the seats in the front or middle of the plane. The study found that the survival rate for seats in the back of the plane was 68%, compared with 61% for seats over the wing and 62% for seats in the front. The middle third of the cabin, behind the wing, was determined as the least safe, with a 56% fatality rate. This middle section behind the wing is where aircraft will typically break during a crash.
All of these studies determined that the safest place to sit on a plane is the rear section. However, it is important to note that these findings are based on data from past plane crashes, and the safety of a seat on an airplane may vary depending on the specific circumstances of a crash.
Why Are Seats In The Back The Safest Place To Sit On A Plane?
So, is the back of the plane the safest? According to the data, yes it is. There are a number of possible explanations for why seats in the back section may be the safest place to sit on a plane.
- Head-On Collision: If an airplane crash involves a nosedive, it’s unlikely anyone in the front of the plane would survive.
- Break Points: The most common place for a plane to break apart is the middle section behind the wing. If this happens, the rear of the plane may break off intact. However, the passengers seated near the break points have a lower chance of survival.
- Location Of Fuel Tanks: Most commercial airliners store fuel in their wings. Jet fuel is extremely flammable and dangerous. Passengers sitting near the wings are closest to this potential hazard.
Every Plane Crash Is Different And There Is Never A Guaranteed “Safe” Seat
So, where is the safest place to sit on a plane? If you are concerned about safety, you may want to consider choosing a seat in the back of the plane. And the last row middle seat might actually be the safest seat in a plane, even though it’s the worst seat on a plane. Remember that the next time you proudly walk down the aisle past the first class passengers.
However, it is important to remember that no seat on an airplane is completely safe during a crash. Every airplane accident is different, and which section of the plane that has the most survivors is completely random.
Statistically, the rear has the safest seats in a plane. Although the tail section is the safest place to sit on a plane, no seat is 100% safe and guaranteed to help you survive in the event of a crash.
The best way to stay safe on an airplane is to follow the safety instructions provided by the flight attendants. And you should take confidence in the fact that air travel is still one of the safest forms of transportation. Statistically speaking, driving your car to the grocery store is more dangerous than flying in an airplane on a business trip. Safe travels!
Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.