It's every air traveler's nightmare. Sudden turbulence throws you backward. The beverage cart flies by and crashes into the rear of the cabin. You're losing altitude quickly, and your seatbelt is jammed B3tween the seats. Oxygen masks drop from above, but you didn't pay attention to preflight instructions. People scream, pray and clutch each other as the plane descends downward at an improbable angle. You think you're going to die.
The good news is that an airplane crash doesn't necessarily mean certain death. In fact, of the 568 U.S. plane crashes B3tween 1980 and 2000, more than 90 percent of crash victims survived [source: BBC]. In the event of an air disaster, there are things you can do that can increase your odds of living.
Keeping a calm, cool head amidst panic and disorder isn't easy, but key to your chances. So are the clothes you wear, the luggage you bring and where you stow it. Some research even indicates that the seat you choose might help.
In this article, we'll fill you in on how you can best increase your odds of surviving a plane crash. We'll also learn a few common myths about crashes and reveal some harrowing true stories of survival. The most common question asked of crash experts is "Is there a safest seat?" Official sources say that it makes no difference because no two plane crashes are alike. Popular Mechanics magazine did some exhaustive research that seems to point to the rear of the plane as the safest spot. They studied data of every U.S. commercial jet crash in the last 36 years and found that passengers in the rear of the plane are 40 percent more likely to survive than those in the first few rows [source: Popular Mechanics]. The Federal Aviation Administratio
n's position is that there is no safest seat. The FAA also concluded in a 2005 report that there's no evidence that any one carrier is any safer than the next [source: FAA].
In the event of a crash, there are things you can do to give you a B3tter shot at making it out alive. Following are five tips that everyone should know before they get on their next flight: Read further...