The crazy reason why Brits are more likely to survive plane crashes than other nationalities | The Sun

A FLIGHT safety expert has revealed why Brits may be more likely to get out alive in the unlikely event of a plane crash.

While air accidents are increasingly rare, they do unfortunately still happen from time to time.

But Vance Hilderman, CEO of one of the world's largest aviation safety service companies Afuzion Inc, explained how a British trait could improve chances of getting out alive in the event of a crash.

He told Sun Online Travel: "A lot of countries don't have the same queueing culture like you have in the UK, but queueing efficiently is one of the best ways in which we can get more people out alive.

"It's not just about thinking about yourself, you have to think about your fellow passengers and everyone rushing at the same time will cause problems in the aisles.

"Queueing and moving efficiently is what you hope for in that incident, it doesn't always happen."

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Vance also warned people to leave their bags behind and not to ignore safety messages in those situations.

He continued: "People are told not to panic, and not to grab their belongings, but they do it every time – they rush and try to get off the plane and whether it's a bag or other personal items, they try and get them.

"It holds people up and it causes problems in the cabin that you don't need.

"It's vitally important but it's really strange because obviously people are told to leave things behind, then the very first thing that they will do is ignore that message."

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There are certain items that can improve chances of survival should the worst happen, while others can hinder people too.

Vance's message is to be prepared for unexpected visits to colder climates, while also restricting phone use during take off and landing.

He said: "I always pack a light jacket, something like a yoga jacket, when I fly.

"If your plane goes down, it's unlikely to be in Central America or anywhere warm – the likelihood is it'll be somewhere cold, especially if you end up in water.

"A yoga jacket isn't quite a wet suit, but it's going to provide an extra layer of warmth while you wait for rescue to come along, which hopefully should only be a few minutes after you go down.

"Additionally, you should be paying attention to the plane while you're taking off and landing. I'd put your phone away for those moments, listen to the safety briefing and just pay attention to what's going on.

"Work out where your nearest exit is, how you'd get out in an emergency, things like that. It could make a big difference."

Even for frequent flyers, Vance recommends regularly paying attention to the safety briefings before flights, just in case there's any different information from different airlines.

He continued: "I usually pay attention every four or five flights, just to see what they're saying.

"It's always good to refresh your mind and know what you're meant to be looking out for. I fly thousands of miles every year, but I still pay attention to those messages pretty regularly."

Choosing the right seat can also make a difference for passengers and there's one that Vance always likes to pick when he flies.

He revealed that the safest seat is over the wing, right next to the emergency door.

He said: "If you think of a plane as being like a see-saw, the fulcrum is right over the wing – that's where it's sturdiest. Either side of that is a bit shakier.

"But also, if you go down, you're right by the emergency exit and you can be one of the first out the door, you're not caught up in the cabin trying to get out.

"You also have a bit more legroom in those seats."

Although all of Vance's advice could come in useful one day, the likelihood is it won't. Planes are safer now than they ever have been, and they're getting safer still.

He continued: "An airplane is the safest place to be. The only thing safer is staying in your home and not going out at all.

"You're much more likely to have an accident out cycling, walking or in a car."

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