Dreaded middle seat revealed as safest on a plane

When it comes to flying economy, it turns out that while the dreaded middle seat may not be the most comfortable, itā€™s officially the safest spot on the plane.

Experts say while flying on a plane is still safer than travelling in a car, accidents can occur and in the event that a plane crashes, the middle seat on the very last row has the highest survival rate.

CQUniversityā€™s Professor of Aviation Doug Drury said a 2015 TIME magazine investigation that analysed 35 years of aircraft accident data found the middle rear seats of an aircraft had the lowest fatality rate ā€“ 28 per cent, compared with 44 per cent for the middle aisle seats.

ā€œYou have to think about when you have an aisle seat, you donā€™t have anything to your left or right and so the crash properties will be swinging everybody around,ā€ he told AAP on Monday.

ā€œIn the middle seat in the back, you basically have a person on your left and one on the right and so they act as a buffer a little bit.ā€

The odds of dying in a plane crash are about one in 205,552, compared with one in 102 in a car, according to the US National Safety Councilā€™s analysis of census data.

In 2019, there were just under 70 million flights globally, with 287 fatalities.

Professor Drury said though rare, in the event of an accident if a plane is to nosedive, no seat is safe, however when it comes to level landing, the back is the safest.

ā€œIf the aircraft is landing somewhat level ā€¦ if pilots are trying to land but they donā€™t quite make it, then there is a probability that sitting in the back will have a higher chance of success of surviving than the people up front,ā€ he said.

ā€œThe physics of an aircraft accident are not the same every single time.ā€


Mibenge Nsenduluka
(Australian Associated Press)


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