There are several things that passengers can do to reduce the odds of being in an aviation accident. Although aviation accidents are relatively rare, they can occur. Use these tips to avoid sustaining a serious brain injury, burn injury, spinal cord injury, or fatality in an aviation accident:
1) Fly on larger aircraft. Larger, commercial aircraft crash far less often. In the event of an accident, larger aircraft with more than 30 passenger seats also provide better chances of survival. Smaller, personal aircraft are far more likely to crash.
2) Choose non-stop flights. Non-stop flights expose you to fewer take offs, ascents, landings, and descents of the plane, the phases of flight when accidents are most likely to occur. Therefore, non-stop flights are statistically safer.
3) Store only light items in the overhead bin. Heavy items can put too much pressure on the overhead bins and in heavy turbulence, these items can fall through the bins, causing brain injuries. Store heavy items under the seat in front of you.
4) Review the safety features of the plane. Locate the emergency exits nearest you, and listen to the pre-flight safety briefing provided by the flight attendants. Reviewing emergency information ensures that this information is fresh in your mind in case you need it.
5) Pay attention to the flight attendants. If a flight attendant asks you to do something, do it promptly. Flight attendants are there to ensure that your flight is safe as well as pleasant. If they ask you to do something specific, such as store your luggage in a specific manner, you can be certain that there is a good safety reason for doing so.
6) Avoid unbuckling your seatbelt or wandering around the cabin without need. If you are on a long flight, you can prevent blood clots by taking brief walks around the cabin. However, keep traveling around the cabin to a minimum. If you hit turbulence, you’re more likely to sustain a personal injury. For most of the flight, stay in your seat with your seatbelt securely fastened, even if the seatbelt light is off. Your seatbelt can save you from serious injury if the plane encounters unexpected turbulence.
7) Avoid excessive drinking. Drinking alcohol clouds your judgment and makes your response times slower in an emergency. If something occurs and you have to leave the flight quickly through an emergency exit, you may have trouble doing so if you have had several drinks.
8) Don’t pour your own hot drinks. On board a flight, consider having flight attendants pour your hot beverages for you. Many small burn injuries are caused each year when people are trying to pour hot drinks on board planes and spill the beverages on themselves when the airplane hits a pocket of turbulence. Flight attendants are often more adept at pouring drinks on planes without spilling any liquid.