10 Tips That Could Save Your Life in a Plane Crash


Plane crashes are very rare, yet they seem to stick in our minds because of the magnitude and the tragedy they leave behind. Planes carry a lot of people and one crash could reap the lives of hundreds.

As air travel becomes more common, the rate of people taking a plane consequently increases. Chances are you could have booked your flight and plan to take off to your chosen destination sometime in the coming days or weeks.

Therefore, you should be prepared for every possible outcome of your flight, including a tragic one.

In this article, we outline for you the 10 airline safety instructions on how to survive a plane crash. You should read them very carefully and know them by heart. We would also suggest that you carry a printable version with you on your flight. That way you will have easy access to the tips to look them over during your flight.



#1 – 90 Seconds Is All you Got to Get Out



Fire spreads quickly and wreaks havoc on anything that comes in its way, be it big or small. A plane is absolutely no exception! Rarely does the impact of a plane with the ground cause death; it is the fire that spreads afterward that claims the lives of the passengers.

That fire, once ablaze, takes only 90 seconds to consume everything. As soon as the plane hits the ground, grab your children, if you have any with you, and head for the door.

#2 – Get in Shape


If you’re a frequent traveler, you should seriously consider getting into shape. Research has found that people who are likely to survive a plane crash are those with slender bodies and who are young.

Overweight people, on the other hand, find it very hard to navigate their way through a crashed plane in which chaos reigns supreme. Go to the gym and start that diet you’ve been putting off for a while. Well, better safe than sorry!


#3 – Choose Bigger Planes Not Small Ones



If you’re going to board a plane, then board the right plane. Compared to small airplanes, big airplanes can absorb more energy from the crash, saving you from a deadly force that could shatter your bones to little pieces.

Your chance of surviving a plane crash increases as the size of the airplane increases. When you’re trying to book your flight, make sure the plane in which you will be flying is big, and avoid cheap deals with small planes that you find on travel booking websites.

#4 – The Five Row Rule, Keep that One in Mind

5-the-five-row-rule-keep-that-one-in-mind©New York Post

You can’t know for sure what part of the plane will take the initial impact with the ground—gravity decides that. Therefore, you can’t find a definitive answer on which seat you should take to be safe from impact.

Research, however, suggests that people sitting within five seats exist have a high chance of escaping the fire that engulfs the plane after impact. So remember this rule and choose your seat accordingly. Also, avoid sitting next to the window, as it will be a lot harder for you to maneuver your way out.


#5 – Win over the Normalcy Bias Fast



Our brains constantly assume that everything will be fine and that things will happen in an ordinary fashion that cannot change. In other words, our brains are biased toward normalcy, and it could be deadly in a plane crash.

During a plane crash, Normalcy Bias will cause your brain to be incredulous about the situation, believing that everything will soon be back to order. However, the chaos of an airplane crash will not go anywhere. Therefore, you should take action as soon as possible. Never trust your brain more than you should.

#6 – The Safety Card, the Flight Attendants: Read the First, Listen to the Second


Don’t shrug off the safety instruction the flight attendant outlines at the start of each flight. You need them to save your life. More importantly, read the safety card—multiple times!

Frequent fliers think that they know all the instructions and can’t be bothered by listening to flight attendants or reading safety cards. But research has found that they are the most ignorant of all passengers of these things and are more likely to die should a plane crash occur.


#7 – Plus 3/Minus 8: That’s a Rule, Remember It



This rule is simple. It states that accidents are more likely to happen during the first 3 minutes of take-off and the 8 minutes leading up to final touchdown. Therefore, you should very be focused during these periods, because your chances of surviving depend on it.

Things to keep in mind during both periods are: avoid sleeping, make sure your seat belt is fastened, tighten your shoes, and don’t drink any alcohol. More importantly, formulate a plan in case of an emergency.

#8 – Grab the Oxygen Mask Quickly!

8-grab-the-oxygen-mask-quickly©Travel + Leisure

At 30,000 feet above the ground, oxygen is scarce. Therefore, plane cabins are pressurized to allow you to breathe properly.

In the event of a plane crash, the cabin could lose pressure; and therefore, your only access to oxygen is through the mask that drops from above. So be quick in putting it on.

More importantly, put yours first before you help your children or your spouse. If you don’t have enough oxygen going to your brain, you won’t be able to help anyone.


#9 – Take Brace Position



Brace yourself, the plane is going down! Curling yourself in brace position reduces the chance of surviving a plane crash. Having your head close to your knees reduces the force of the impact on your head, saving you from a concussion.

Moreover, you should always make sure that your seat belt is tightly fastened. They are designed to withstand a great amount of force, so don’t underestimate them. They have been saving lives since they’ve been introduced.

#10 – Forget Your Luggage, Your Kids Are More Important


What’s more important to you: a child that you months waiting for and years to raise, or a piece of luggage that you could easily replace? Once the plane crashes, you should grab your child and head for the nearest exit.

As we’ve discussed above, you only have 90 seconds to survive the flames. Don’t waste them on getting attached to material objects that are dispensable. Carry-on luggage will only hinder your movement and the movement of the other passengers. Your children are your priority; if you lose them, you can’t replace them. Act wisely!

We don’t want to be dismal about air travel, but these things are very important to know. As we’ve said above, accidents are very rare; air travel safety is constantly getting high. However, caution is important, so keep these tips in mind for your next flight.

Before you go, share with us in the comments the story of a loved one you lost to a plane crash. Help us raise awareness.


John W. Roper
John W. Roper is an experienced photographer, traveler, and writer with an immense desire to bring the fun and expertise to you from all the places he visits and travel troubles he experiences. John tells stories of adventures you'd like to have or that are totally worth having. He seeks to excite, educate, and above all, inspire you to “go out there and start living,” as he says.


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