The dramatic incident of nearly two dozen people safely evacuating a passenger plane that crashed in Houston earlier this week has renewed its focus on surviving a plane crash.
Despite data from the National Transportation Safety Board indicating that the chances of being involved in a fatal plane crash are extremely low, there are some measures that could further increase the chances of passengers surviving.
Here are four tips to help you avoid a plane crash.
1) Sit near the exit as a ‘count every second’ in case of disaster
Professor Ed Gallia, a fire and evacuation specialist and founding director of the Fire Safety Engineering Group at the University of Greenwich in London – which conducts research on the subject – told Fox News that he would “try to get one seat closer to the exit” as much as possible, especially the nine-seat row. In “whenever he flies.
“Usually, a plane does not have ‘safe’ seats at the time of the accident. This is because every accident is different,” he said. “However, our research on surviving plane crashes in the past suggests that the closer you sit to a serviceable departure, the more likely you are to survive a fatal crash.”
Survivors of a Texas plane crash heading to the Astros game in Boston
He added, “The reason for this is that in a plane crash, especially after a post-crash fire, every second counts, every second can literally differentiate between life and death.”
2) Put on your shoes to prepare for the escape
A plane crash will scatter items and luggage all over the cabin – and when that happens, you don’t just want to get caught after your socks, Gallia said.
“Keep your shoes for takeoff and landing. If you have to take off your shoes, wait until the plane reaches cruising heights and make sure you put them on again before the plane starts landing,” he said.
“As a result of the accident, the cabin of the aircraft may be full of debris, or worse, partially broken,” Gallia continued. “You don’t want to make your way out barefoot.”
3) Recognize that these seat belts are not just like your car
Seat belts on planes serve the same purpose as those found in motor vehicles, but a key difference is the way they lock and release.
Plane seat belts are released by pulling on a lever mechanism, while pressing a button used in the vehicle. According to Galileo, remembering that difference during your flight can buy valuable time to escape.
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“In an emergency, it’s easy to lose valuable seconds when your survival ‘flight’ mode has begun and you’re working in ‘autopilot mode’ because you accidentally try to press the seat belt lever to release the seat belt – and count every second , ”He said.
“This kind of behavior has actually been reported in previous plane crashes and has even happened in the case of frequent flyers,” he added.
4) Keep an eye on your surroundings as you move towards your seat
Gallia says before takeoff, it’s best to count the number of rows of seats from you to the departure – and that distance – if the plane’s cabin is filled with smoke in the event of an accident.
“Even if it’s open, it can be difficult for you to see the exit, so you can cross it / crawl,” he said. “Even if you are a frequent flyer, it is unlikely that you will know the number and location of aircraft departures, leaving their location with your seat.”