Accidents on Planes Are Most Likely Occur at These Times During Your Flight

Accidents happen. They are part of life. But on planes, accidents can be deadly. Although, the chances of dying on a plane are statistically low. You have a 1 in 9,821 chance of dying from air and space transport, according to the National Safety Council. Keep reading to find out when accidents are most likely to occur on a flight.

Boeing conducts a study on accidents

boeing logo

Boeing had specific restraints on what they considered accidents. | Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images

Boeing analyzes accidents from 2007 to 2016. Here’s what Boeing considers accidents: The airplane sustains substantial damage, the airplane is missing/inaccessible, and death or serious injury as a result of being in the airplane, direct contact with the plane, and direct exposure to jet blast. Hostile action, such as hijacking, terrorism, and sabotage aren’t considered accidents.

Hint: Boeing finds this time during the flight to be the most accident-prone.

The landing is when most accidents happen

Most issues happened during landing. | Ep_stock/iStock/Getty Images

Over the course of the nine year study, Boeing determines 48 percent of all fatal accidents occur during a flight’s final descent and landing. So, being nervous for the landing during a flight is justified. After all, the final descent and landing account for 46 percent of all onboard fatalities, according to the study.

Hint: The beginning of the flight is crucial.

Takeoff is crucial

Delta Boeing 757 flight taking off from Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International airport

Take off is only a small percentage. | benlynn/iStock/Getty Images

Getting off the ground is crucial during a flight. Takeoff and the initial climb is the second most accident prone time during a flight, according to Boeing’s study. Of the accidents occurring during the takeoff and climb, only 6 percent of accidents result in fatalities of those onboard.

Hint: Be aware of your surroundings.

Plus three/minus eight rule

Woman reading magazine and listening to music on airplane

You should be paying attention during these moments. | kasto80 /iStock/Getty Images

Author of The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science That Could Save Your Life, Ben Sherwood, discusses surviving a plane crash with Time. The first three minutes of a flight and the last eight are known as the plus three/minus eight rule, according to Sherwood. During these times is when research shows 80 percent of accidents occur. “You should really be paying attention, because you actually can survive a plane crash,” Sherwood says.

Hint: Know where the exit is located.

Don’t ignore the safety video

emergency exit door in airplane

You need to know what to do in case of a crash. | Artfoliophoto/iStock/Getty Images

Sherwood discusses the work of professor Ed Galea, who analyzes seating charts of plane crashes and interviews survivors. Sherwood explains Galea’s findings to Time. “The people who are most likely to survive a plane crash are people who are sitting right next to the exit row or one row away,” Sherwood says. Make a habit of knowing where the nearest exit is to you on a plane. Don’t simply ignore the flight attendant or safety video telling you about the exits.

Hint: Following this rule could save your life.

The five-row rule

airplane with passengers on seats waiting to take off

You’re better off sitting close to the exit. | AwaylGl/iStock/Getty Images

Sherwood also highlights the importance of being near an exit row. The people who are most likely to survive a plane crash are the ones sitting next to the exit row or one row away. However, there is some leeway. Being five rows away can increase your chances of survival. “Beyond a five-row cutoff from the exit, your chances, in his [Galea’s] view, are greatly reduced,” Sherwood says.

Hint: This is the safest seat on an airplane.

Improve your safety by sitting in this seat

Interior of airplane with empty seats

The only plus to sitting in a middle seat. | Bychykhin_Olexandr/iStock/Getty Images

Be the safest person on the plane by sitting in this seat. The safest seat on any plane is a middle seat in the back, according to a report created by Time using the FAA’s Accident Database. The fatality rate for seats in the back third of a plane is 32 percent while the middle third comes in at 39 percent and 38 percent in the front third.

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Read more: Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask While Traveling, Answered