How Do People Survive Plane Crashes?

Since Wilbur and Orville Wright first took to the skies in 1903, virtually everyone who has ridden in a plane has considered what might happen if the thing falls out of the sky.

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, a person would have to take a flight every day for 55,000 years before encountering a fatal accident. You are literally more likely to be killed by a falling coconut.

So You're Sayin' There's a Chance

In 2016, 325 people died in 19 airplane crashes worldwide. That might seem like a lot, but more than 2,500 left-handed people are killed every year from using equipment meant for right-handed people.

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.

Even if you're reading this on an airplane while you're rocketing toward the ground, your odds of surviving are quite good. Among passengers aboard crashed planes, 95.7 percent 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 what happens when a plane actually does crash? Buckle in for these videos: a worst-case scenario survival guide.

How To Survive a Plane Crash

Watch the simulation of an emergency evacuation.

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What Are The Chances Of Being In A Plane Crash?

Luckily, not very high.

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This Woman Survived a Horrific Plan Crash And Lived To Tell

Hear what it's like from someone who has been through it.

25 Worst Aviation Disasters And Plane Crashes In History

When they happen, they can be devastating.

Edited by Ben Bowman August 18, 2014