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Aviation Safety Tips

Approximately 20 emergency landings are made by U.S. commercial airlines every month

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Aviation Safety Tips

The severity of injuries suffered in a serious aviation accident depends on many factors. Most people assume there isn't very much an individual can do to protect themselves. However, there are some general safety tips to follow when you travel by air.

Before the flight

  • Listen to the pre-flight safety briefing.

  • Read the safety data card in the seat pocket in front of you.

  • When in your seat, keep your seat belt on.

  • Identify the closest emergency exit in front and behind you, and then count the seat rows to reach those emergency exits. This will be very helpful in case of evacuation in a smoke filled airplane.

What to wear to reduce your risks

In the unlikely event of an airplane evacuation via escape slides, synthetic fibers can become very hot due to friction, and melt causing first, second and even third degree burns to the body and legs. The following steps should be taken when traveling to ensure passenger comfort and safety.

  • Wear clothes made of natural fibers such as cotton, wool, denim and leather. These fibers offer the best protection during an airplane evacuation or fire. Synthetics such as rayon, polyester and nylon (especially in hosiery) can melt when heated.

  • Wear clothing that is roomy and comfortable.

  • Wear long pants and long sleeves. Avoid wearing shorts or skirts since these types of clothes do not appropriately cover extremities.

  • Wear low-healed laced or strapped shoes, boots or tennis shoes. Shoes made of leather or canvas are preferable. High-heeled shoes will have to be removed before leaving the airplane via an escape slide. This will slow your departure from the airplane and put you at risk for severe injury from possible hazards such as broken glass or metal debris. Avoid wearing sandals or flip flops for the same reasons.


Turbulence happens and much of it is unpredictable. When it does occur, adults and children who are not buckled up can be seriously injured. According to the FAA, the majority of turbulence-related injuries and deaths occur when the seat belt sign is on. The following advice should keep you from becoming one of those statistics.

  • Wear your seat belt at all times; turbulence is not always predictable.

  • In non-fatal accidents, in-flight turbulence is the leading cause of injuries to airline passengers and flight attendants.

  • Each year, approximately 58 airline passengers in the United States are injured by turbulence while not wearing their seat belts.

  • From 1981 through December 1997, there were 342 reports of turbulence affecting major air carriers. As a result, three passengers died, 80 suffered serious injuries and 769 received minor injuries.

  • At least two of the three fatalities involved passengers who were not wearing their seat belts while the seat belt sign was illuminated.

  • Of the 80 passengers who were seriously injured, approximately 73 were not wearing their seat belts while the seat belt sign was illuminated.

  • Generally, two-thirds of turbulence-related accidents occur at or above 30,000 feet. In 1997, about half of the accidents occurred above 30,000 feet.

Emergency evacuation

The best preparation for an emergency evacuation is to be familiar with the location of the exits, be ready to follow the commands of the flight and cabin crew, and to wear clothes that facilitate moving down an emergency slide. For example, high heeled shoes may cause the slide to rip. In the case of deployment of emergency oxygen, your first priority is to put on your own mask. If the cabin is depressurized, you face the risk of loss of consciousness. Putting on your mask first decreases the risk of your passing out before having the opportunity to help your children or other passengers with their oxygen masks.

In the unlikely event that you are involved in an emergency situation the most important thing you can do is to remain calm and follow the directions of the flight attendants and flight crew.

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DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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