Monday, June 30, 2008

The safest seat?

Is there really a safest seat on an airplane? On a tip, I looked into a couple of articles and did some web-based research on the subject (read: I looked at some articles during my lunch break) and came up with some thoughts on this.

Yahoo news had a piece on this finding that the safest seats on a plane are the aisle seats. The main argument, it seems, of this British study is that:

"...the best chance of getting out alive from a burning aircraft, people should choose an aisle seat near the front within five rows of an emergency exit..."

I don't know - it seems to me that this would be true if you assumed that everybody on the plane remained calm and in control during the fire. How likely is that? Not very, in my mind. Hear me out: we have all been on flights where once the plane parks and we begin deplaning, we encounter that one passenger who must get out of the plane. They push, they rush, they tailgate you down the aisle. Now, most planes are not on fire when they park and there are always these people who act like it's on fire. In a real fire, do you think these people would remain calm and wait for the people on the aisle seat to get out first? Doubt it...

I would put much more credibility in this article in Popular Mechanics, which says that you're much more likely to survive a crash if you're sitting towards the back of the plane. It just seems like looking at the safety of a seat based on whether it's a window, middle, or aisle is missing the big picture.

Personally, I just stick as close to the front as I can - that way I get my orange juice before all the suckers in the back!

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