How Do People Survive Plane Crashes?

Playlist by Linze Rice — 10 Videos

This Woman Survived a Horrific Plane Crash and Lived to Tell

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How Do People Survive Plane Crashes?

A question that has worried people since the dawn of flight: what are the odds of surviving a plane crash? Although more than 40 percent of passengers report fear of being involved in a plane crash, the odds are in our favor. Statistically speaking, one would have to take a flight every day for 55,000 years before encountering a fatal accident. Despite big-budget Hollywood films' depictions of plane crashes, flying is actually the safest mode of transportation. In fact, the odds of a plane crash are one for every 1.2 million flights, with odds of dying one in 11 million. Your chances of dying in a car or traffic accident are one in 5,000. Astoundingly, even if you are aboard one of the one in 1.2 flights that crash, 95.7 percent of passengers survive. And according to the National Transportation Safety Board, even passengers of the most devastating airplane crashes survive at a rate of 76 percent.

Despite its safety, air travel malfunctions can cause passenger distress, and on rare occasion, result in a crash. So what can you do to prepare yourself, if anything? What boosts our odds for survival? And if airplane deaths are so rare, why do so many people report phobias of flying? Buckle in as this playlist guides you through some crucial safety tips, firsthand survivor accounts and archival footage.

About this Video

from Smithsonian Channel

A survivor of United Airlines Flight 173 to Portland describes what went through her mind as the plane crashed into a suburb 20 miles away from its destination. From: AIR DISASTERS: Focused on Failure

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