We all have our favorite places to sit on the plane, but what's the safest? Time researchers crunched numbers on 17 accidents going back to 1980, analyzing the section and row position of the passengers. Their answer: The rear of the plane is the safest, and it’s best to be squished into a middle seat. These passengers had a fatality rate of 28% in the accidents. The researchers found that the seats near the wings had the highest fatality rate, with those sitting on the aisle being the worst off at 44%.
Overall, people in the back third of the plane had a 32% fatality rate, better than those in the middle third (39%) and the front third (38%). Similar results were found when Popular Mechanics analyzed every commercial crash from 1971 to 2007. "So when the ‘experts’ tell you it doesn't matter where you sit, have a chuckle and head for the back of the plane," reporter David Noland wrote. (More advice for air travel: Don't go nuts over nuts.)