How to Improve Your Chances of Surviving a Plane Crash
A recent bus crash in New England led to a discussion about the survivability of plane crashes versus bus crashes. My friend was surprised to learn that the survival rate in U.S. plane crashes is an astounding 95% according to the National Transportation Safety Board based on figures from the period 1983 through 2000.
This stands in stark contrast to the 46% survival rate in the period 1962 through 1981.
The fatality rate per billion passenger-miles for buses is relatively low, 0.11. However, this figure is still 65% higher than the fatality rate for commercial aviation.
The increase in the airplane crash survival rate is due to improved flame retardant fabrics and parts, stronger seats, and better firefighting techniques after a crash, all of which come together to increase the amount of time passengers have to make a safe escape.
A look at some major crashes in the past decade shows how, with one exception, it’s possible for all passengers and crew to walk away from a crash:
- Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in 2013: 305 of 307 survived
- Lion Air Flight 904 in 2013: All 108 on board survived
- Caribbean Airlines Flight 523 in 2011: All 163 on board survived
- American Airlines Flight 331 in 2009: All 154 on board survived
- US Airways Flight 1549 (“Miracle on the Hudson”) in 2009: All 155 on board survived
It’s unlikely you’ll ever be in a crash, but just in case, here are nine tips on how to be prepared.
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