Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Safe Flying

Safety is a foremost concern of any traveler, regardless of whether the trip is for business or for pleasure. Never has this need been more emphasized until recently, in light of 9/11 and of the latest bombings in London. These attacks have somewhat made people wary of traveling, especially traveling by airplane.

However, despite these risks, the US Federal Aviation Administration claims that airline accidents are rare, with the odds of death about 1 to 7 million. Most airplane disasters occur usually during the plane’s takeoff, climb, descent or landing.

To minimize safety risks passengers face during travel by air, the following measures are recommended:

Fly non-stop. Since airline accidents occur mostly on takeoff, climb, descent or landing, flying non-stop avoids these as much as possible. Not all direct flights are non-stop, though, so it is best to check with one’s travel agent.

Fly on larger aircrafts. The design and certification of aircrafts with a seating capacity of at least 30 are strictly regulated. The chances of passenger survival in case of fatal accidents are also higher in larger aircrafts.

Pay attention to the pre-flight briefing. The information given on pre-flight briefings tend to be repetitious, but it still pays to listen to them. The seating and layout of an aircraft depends on what kind of aircraft it is, so the location of the exits differs as well.

Avoid storing heavy articles in overhead storage bins. Overhead storage bins may not be able to hold heavy articles during turbulence. Heavy items should therefore be stored elsewhere.

Keep your seatbelt on. As in any vehicle, seatbelts provide additional protection for the passenger. This is especially helpful when turbulence occurs.

Listen to the flight attendants. Airlines employ flight attendants not only to serve passengers but also to ensure safety within the aircraft. It is best to listen to what they have to say first before one starts complaining or asking questions.

Do not bring hazardous materials in the aircraft. Some materials such as gas and corrosives react differently in the contained and pressurized interior of the aircraft. If allowed by the airline, these materials should be stored in their proper containers.

Do not drink too much. Alcohol has a stronger effect on the body in higher altitudes than at sea level.

Wear sensible clothing. It is advised that clothes made of natural fiber should be worn when flying because synthetic fabrics melt onto a person’s skin and cause more serious burns. Women should also take care not to wear high heels when flying.

Stay alert. It is important to keep one’s wits about one’s self in case of emergencies so there would be less panic and people would be able to get out of the aircraft more quickly and efficiently.

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