Many passengers assume that there is nothing they can do to prevent airplane accidents or the serious injuries – ranging from spinal cord injuries to head injuries – which often result from these crashes. While most passengers have little control over airplane maintenance or the actions of the air crew, though, there are several things they can do to reduce the possible injuries that can result from an airplane accident:
1) Stick with larger planes and established airlines. Small planes, newer companies and casual flights at fairs or other events simply have more unknowns and carry more risks. Larger airlines have a reputation to uphold and often screen their crews and monitor their plane conditions more carefully as a result.
2) Listen to the pre-flight safety information and read the safety data card in the seat pocket in front of you before every flight. If you fly often, it may be tempting to zone out during the safety information session, but reviewing safety information each time is important, experts claim, since it ensures that all safety information is fresh in your mind.
3) Plan ahead. Determine where your closest emergency exits are and count the number of seats you would have to move forward and back to find the exits. In case of an emergency, the cabin might be clouded with smoke, so planning ahead can ensure that you can find the exists even in the dark..
4) Wear appropriate clothes on a flight. When dressing for travel, opt for comfortable, roomy clothing made from natural fibers such as wool, cotton, denim, and leather. Tight clothing can restrict your movements and make it harder for you to evacuate the aircraft while synthetic fibers such as nylon, rayon, and polyester are easily flammable and melt easily in high heat, increasing your chance of burn injuries in case there is a fire. Nylon fibers in hosiery can especially lead to melting and burn injury, since the fabric in hosiery is so thin. Therefore, it might be a good idea to avoid tights, pantyhose, and other hosiery on a flight. When selecting clothing, also consider long pants and long sleeves, which cover extremities and provide you with some protection. When selecting footwear, choose canvas or leather low-heeled laced or strapped shoes, boots, or sports shoes. Sandals and high-heeled shoes cannot be worn on an escape slide and removing your shoes leaves your feet vulnerable to injury and slows your emergency departure from the airplane.
5) Stay in your seat with your seatbelt on. Turbulence is the most common problem that passengers experience and it is usually unpredicted. Many flights experience at least some turbulence and it is the leading cause of injuries on airlines. Each year, about 58 airline passengers across the country are injured because they were not wearing seat belts when turbulence occurred on a flight.