Surprisingly Easy Ways to Fly Safer


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Surprisingly Easy Ways to Fly Safer

Despite the rarity of plane crashes, the Air France flight 447, US Airways Flight 1549 and Continental flight 3407 incidences and their dramatic outcome make breaking news across the globe. But take heart, flying is still effective and safe thanks to better technology and enforced precautionary measures and the odds of actually being in a fatal plane crash are low. Airplane manufacturer Boeing says 1.4 billion miles flown for every fatal accident and the likelihood of dying on a commercial airline flight is 9 million to 1. Even with these positive statistics, even seasoned travelers can suffer jitters, but employ these 10 simple safety measures and you'll do your part to have the safest flight ever.

Surprisingly Easy Ways to Fly Safer

There are may opinons on the safest place to sit on a plane, but most agree that being in, or close to the emergency exit rows over the wings is a good start. The section between the wings is reinforced by a very strong steel box, so passengers in this area are less likely to be struck by torn metal and debris.

With the new fees, paying $5 to up to $80 for a preferred seat assignment may be worth it. A 2007 study conducted by Popular Mechanics determined that passengers sit near the tail of a plane are 40% more likely to survive a crash than those in the first few rows. And consider bypassing the First Class seat no matter the pampering perks. This area tends to suffer the highest mortality rate during a crash.

Surprisingly Easy Ways to Fly Safer

Heard one preflight briefing, you've heard them all? Perish the thought. Depending on the type of aircraft you're flying, the details change, so pay attention to the flight attendant or safety video. Always indentify the emergency exits as different airplanes have different configurations. Case in point--on an Airbus A320-used by airlines like Frontier and JetBlue-the exit rows are located at the front of the plane over the wings. But on many Boeing aircrafts used by Delta, and Continental, the exit rows are in the middle of the plane. Sometimes the nearest exit row is behind you. Know that flight attendants main priority is your safety and are first defense in an emergency, so pay attention to their three-minute briefing.

Surprisingly Easy Ways to Fly Safer

To some travelers, avoiding layovers with a non-stop flight just means shorter travel time. But booking a non-stop flight can save your life. According to David Ropeik, instructor of the Environmental Management program at Harvard's Adult Education School and author of "How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don't Match the Facts", "more people are killed in bad landings or takeoffs, so the risk is higher for those who fly often, rather than those who fly more miles. The 'up in the air and everything is fine' part of flying is not when most problems occur."

Approximately 80 percent of all aviation accidents occur shortly before, after, or during takeoff or landing and mid-flight disasters are rare. This is mostly a result of human error and technical problems within an aircraft.. But, if a connecting flight itinerary is the cheapest price, try to book the one with the least amount of stops.

Surprisingly Easy Ways to Fly Safer

Simply put, the bigger the aircraft the safer it can be as larger planes are more likely able to handle unexpected emergencies. In 1997, in an attempt to reduce the crash rate of commuter flights, the FAA required all aircrafts with more than 30 passenger seats to operate under stricter maintenance regulations. There's a definite crash difference in crash rates between larger and smaller aircrafts. A December 2007 survey by determined that larger A320 aircrafts reported only 8 fatal events per million flights, as opposed to 67 fatal events for the smaller Boeing 737 models.'s August 2009 study lists the Boeing 777 as the safest plane. Since 1995, this model has had just over two million flights and no fatal crashes. Two safe smaller aircraft types include the Embraer 170 and 190. Both jets are frequently used by regional carriers in North America and Europe.

Surprisingly Easy Ways to Fly Safer

When choosing your travel wardrobe forgo fashion in favor of utility. A few safety tips to keep in mind: Avoid wearing highly flammable synthetic nylon or polyester blends in favor of natural cotton and wool fibers. Nix the short minis and tank tops and opt for loose-fitting outfits that protect your arms and legs. Jeans and long pants and shirts can guard against broken glass or debris. Leave heels, flip-flops and sandals for your destination. During flight, the best footgear are secure, close-toed rubber soled shoes that'll work better in case of evacuation. You can find safe and stylish options at

Surprisingly Easy Ways to Fly Safer

Don't be afraid if you spot something odd during the flight. Voicing your concerns could potentially keep you and your fellow passengers out of harm's way. Just ask the passengers on Dallas-Fort Worth bound American Airlines flight 414. On August 21, shortly after the plane departed from San Diego, passengers reported hearing unusual noises from the aircraft then witnessed parts of the right wing falling off. The jet was quickly diverted to Los Angeles International Airport and landed without incident. Never keep quiet for fear of ridicule, its better to be safe than sorry.

Surprisingly Easy Ways to Fly Safer

Turbulence, the bumpy, choppy sensation caused when a plane hits a rough air pocket, can range from a slight tremble to severe bouncing. Though pilots often know ahead of time of impending turbulence due to regular weather reports and heads up from other pilots ahead, they can also be caught by surprise by invisible "clear-air" turbulence. It's a reason the pilot asks you to keep seatbelts on, even after the indicator's been removed. In August 2009, a 47-year old woman who did not buckle up during turbulence on a Continental flight from Houston to McAllen, Texas, was thrown into the ceiling of the plane, breaking her neck and back. She is now paralyzed from the chest down. Also, even if it means an extra cost, consider purchasing a separate seat for an infant or child under the age of two instead of holding them in your lap. Using an airline-approved car seat is even better.

Surprisingly Easy Ways to Fly Safer

We all have our favorite airline that we remain loyal to flight after flight. But next time you make travel arrangements you may want to take into consideration which airline has the best safety records! The top eight airline in the United States (those having more than 2 million flights per year) all have strong records. But some stand out ahead of others. Take, Southwest Airlines for example. As of June 2009, the airline has no fatalities in its history.

Surprisingly Easy Ways to Fly Safer

Even mild turbulence can shift objects in the overhead bins. Open them during flight and you may find yourself injured by a heavy bag that's fallen from an overstuffed bin. Even relatively harmless items such as umbrellas or canes can be dangerous. How to determine if your bag is too heavy? You or another passenger can't lift it into the bin. In those cases, ask for the article to be gate checked or stored elsewhere. Try to avoid sitting in seats directly under the overhead compartment. People have been hurt by those items falling on them.

Surprisingly Easy Ways to Fly Safer

Filed Under: Air Travel, Tips & Tricks

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Not really, a B1900D would be as prepared as a A380
A320s aren't near as popular as the 737s.
Larger airplanes aren't better equipped exactly
A CRJ is about as equipped as a 747 just with half the systems.

January 23 2011 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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