Whether you travel frequently for work or you fly out of Atlanta Airport for the occasional visit to family in another state, the safety of your flight is likely foremost in your mind. You may feel jittery only on take-off and landing, or you may clutch the armrest in fear for the duration of the flight.

While experts say it is far more dangerous to drive a car, being in a plane can be harrowing, and the fear of a crash is very real. Now researchers are studying plane crashes and resulting injuries to see if your choice of seat can improve your chances of survival in the unlikely event your plane goes down.

What are my chances?

Statistically, your chances of being in a fatal car accident are about one in 112 whereas your chances of suffering fatal injuries in a plane crash are one in 8,000. The difference may be that you have some control over your vehicle, but in a plane, you depend completely on the competence and attention of other people.

Nevertheless, you want to use what little control you have to remain as safe as possible on your flight, and some say this may include choosing the seat where you are least likely to suffer fatal injuries.

Where should I sit?

New research confirms a study from several years ago showing that those passengers sitting in the middle seats near the back of the plane had a lower fatality rate than passengers in any other area of the plane. If you are in the back of a plane during a crash, you are more likely to suffer injuries due to severe jostling. You may also suffer head trauma, so although your life may be spared, there is still a chance you will end up with catastrophic injuries.

The research also indicated the following about your location on a plane and the chances of survival in the event of a crash:

  • Fatalities occurred 39 percent of the time in the middle section of a plane.
  • The front section of the plane saw a fatality rate of 38 percent.
  • Aisle seats appear to be deadly no matter where in the plane you sit.
  • Not wearing a seat belt increases the chances of fatal injury.

These results are the conclusion of research that included data from historical plane crashes and simulated crashes. However, each plane crash is different, and the way the plane lands will determine which section of passengers may be most seriously affected.