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- While most modern modes of transportation are generally quite safe, you can give yourself a leg up safety-wise by knowing where to sit in a bus, boat, plane, or other conveyance.
- Certain parts of planes, cars, trains, buses, and boats can be safer for passengers and have resulted in fewer fatalities or injuries.
- We rounded up the safest places to sit while riding in cars, trains, buses, and boats.
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Whether you’re hopping into the front seat of your own car, settling in beside the window on a passenger jet, or finding a spot on a busy train, there are certain safety considerations to take.
Fastening seat belts is of paramount importance, of course, especially in a motor vehicle. On a plane or train, you identify the nearest exits, and on a boat, you should know where flotation devices can be found.
As it turns out, where you sit can also have an impact on your safety, so going beyond these standard precautions and choosing the safest seat in the car, plane, or bus can help keep you safe in the unfortunate event of an accident.
We pulled data from multiple sources to figure out the safest seats in different types of vehicle. Hopefully, you’ll never have to put any of this to the test, but if you do, at least you’ll be sitting in the right place.
Here are the safest places to sit in every kind of vehicle.
The rear middle seat is the safest seat in a car
Assuming a passenger is properly using their seatbelt or car seat or booster for a child, the rear middle seat is currently the safest seat in a car.
However, as motor vehicle safety technology continues to improve, this age-old wisdom is beginning to change. In cars from the most recent model years, experts now recommend adults age 55 or older sit in the front seats if they’re looking for the safest spot, according to The New York Times. Though, according to the Times, as belts that tighten automatically with crash detection sensors appear in rear seats, the back seat will again be considered safest overall.
The back of a plane is often the safest place to sit
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Air travel is the safest way to travel in the US.
That said, in the rare event of an airplane crash, there are certain areas of the plane that fare better than others.
According to an analysis by Popular Mechanics, passengers sitting near the tail of the plane had a 40% greater chance of surviving a crash than passengers in the front. Another analysis by Time found that passengers specifically in the middle seats of the rear of the plane had the highest chance of surviving.
Seats in the middle third of the cabin were found to be the least safe in crashes. However, the researchers cautioned that there are different circumstances for every accident.
Sit in the center-most train car
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When choosing a seat on a train, try to get one in the center-most car, or one of the central cars. This will put you as far as possible from the most common points of issue for collisions or derailment, namely the front and end of the train.
Also, when possible, sit in a rear-facing seat. In the event of sudden braking, the force will direct you back into your seat, instead of sending you flying out of your seat.
Sit towards the middle of the bus
To find the safest seat on a bus, head for the middle. Choose a row as centrally located as possible and sit on the aisle, choosing the side of the bus farthest from opposing traffic. In America, this means sitting on an aisle seat on the right-hand side of the bus.
This location puts you as far as possible from front-end and rear-end collisions and away from a potentially out-of-control vehicle veering into your lane from the other direction.
Lower decks or cabins may be the safest places on a boat
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On calm seas, any part of a boat is equally safe. On rough seas, the lower down you can get, the less you’ll feel the effects of the rolling. That means less seasickness, but also less risk of injury from flying objects. If you are in a cabin with loose items that might go flying, take refuge in a hallway.
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