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Safest seats on a plane

A large section of this Boeing 737's fuselage blew off during a 1988 accidentWant to increase your chances of survival in an aircraft in case of any unfortunate accidents? Sit in the back row.

The funny thing about all those expert opinions: They're not really based on hard data about actual airline accidents. A look at real-world crash stats, however, suggests that the farther back you sit, the better your odds of survival. Passengers near the tail of a plane are about 40 percent more likely to survive a crash than those in the first few rows up front.

That's the conclusion of an exclusive Popular Mechanics study that examined every commercial jet crash in the United States, since 1971, that had both fatalities and survivors.

Where detailed seating charts were available, we also calculated survival rates for various parts of the passenger cabin. Again, the trend was clear: The rear cabin (seats located behind the trailing edge of the wing) had the highest average survival rate at 69 percent. The overwing section had a 56 percent survival rate, as did the coach section ahead of the wing. First/business-class sections (or in all-coach planes, the front 15 percent) had an average survival rate of just 49 percent.

Survival rates
Link & Image: Popular Mechanics via Boing Boing
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The farther back your seat in the plane, the later you will arrive at the crash.

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