We often hear people saying that they prefer cars over aeroplanes because aeroplanes might crash. That fear, however, is misplaced and as irrational as it gets. Chances of a plane crash are much lower than a car accident or a lightning strike or a shark attack for all that matters. In a survey done by the American National Safety Council in 2015, they found that an average American has a 1 in 114 chances of dying in a car crash. While in the case of aeroplanes, the chance is 1 in 9,821. Sadly, no such data exists for the Bangladeshi counterparts but it is safe to say that the numbers would probably look similar. The fear around planes is understandable, however. For when an accident happens, it is usually more fatal than a regular car crash. Accidents do not happen very often. But with proper air travel safety ensured, the chances of a fatality are much lower even if the plane crashes due to an unfortunate event.
Ironically, whenever we get on a plane, the most ignored part of the journey is usually the safety instructions by the cabin crew. Here’s why you should pay more attention to them next time on:
Switch off your mobile phones/Turn on airplane mode
During every air travel, the cabin crews instruct us to turn off our mobile phones, especially during take off and landing. These warnings are often overlooked as we keep talking on our phones or using it even when the plane is taxiing and taking off. This simple rebel act of not caring enough can cause serious fatalities as the mobile phone signals often interfere with the radio signal communications between the pilots and the ATC. Slight gaps in information exchange can lead to serious disaster. Keep this in mind the next time you’re not switching off your mobile phone following the instructions. Your life may as well be in your own hands.
Following the emergency procedure instructions
So, you’re sitting in your seat, all strapped up, waiting for the plane to take off and the cabin crews are blabbering and making weird hand gestures and all, boring right? Life savers actually. Do pay attention to what they are saying, how to use the oxygen mask, how to put on the life jacket, where the emergency doors are and how to open them etc. In case of an emergency, you don’t want to find yourself in a position where you don’t know what to do just because you weren’t paying attention. Those boring blabbers and weird hand gestures can save your life.
Seat belts are your best friends
It’s best to wear seat belts all the time even when the lights aren’t on. If the lights are on, do not open your seat-belts in mere disregard. Even if the plane isn’t in a crash, a serious turbulence can throw you off and injure you and other passengers. They are there to keep you safe. Use them. It doesn’t hurt.
Keep calm and wait for the plane to stop
This is perhaps the most complained issue about our air travels. Please, wait for the plane to come to a full stop before you unbuckle and start getting your overhead luggage out. This is serious as most of us tend to ignore this one. If the plane is still moving on the runway by the time you’re walking about with your luggage, waiting to get out, there is all the chance in the world that if the plane skids or anything happens, you will be one of the firsts to suffer from an injury whereas if you were seated with your seat-belts on, you might be saved! Why take our chances for granted, right?
Even though most of these will be covered by the cabin crew’s instructions and best if you follow their words, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared with a bit of a heads up. So here are a few basic air travel safety on a plane journey:
1. Always keep wearing the seat-belt when the lights are on. Best to wear them all the time.
2. Keep your dining boards up and towed during take-off and landing.
3. In case of a drop in the air pressure, oxygen masks will most likely come out. Wear yours first before helping others. In case you’re travelling with a child, wear yours first and then help the child wear it. This is important because you may last a maximum of 15-20 seconds without oxygen and if you collapse, you cannot take care of the others.
4. Always follow the crews’ instruction to locate where the emergency doors and life jackets are in case of an emergency
5. Do not carry sharp objects, inflammable objects and canisters in carry on.
Despite all the fear and concerns, Air travel is still the safest medium to travel. If you aren’t convinced, look up the stats on Google. Numbers do not lie. Stay safe and Happy Travelling!