How to Survive a Plane or Train Crash

Unless you haven’t been paying attention to the news, this week has been somewhat tumultuous for travelers. On Tuesday, the world witnessed two incredibly tragic accidents unfold on the opposite side of the world.

In Taipai, Taiwan, a TransAsia Airways flight was captured on video beginning to turn over onto its belly mid-air before clipping an overpass and subsequently slamming into a shallow river. From the outside looking in, it seemed as though there couldn’t possibly be any survivors. To the surprise of onlookers, however, a few people emerged from the destroyed aircraft.

Also on Tuesday, this time outside of New York City, a Metro-North commuter train slammed into an SUV that was stranded on the tracks. Both the vehicle and front part of the train immediately burst into flames that were quick to spread amid the windy conditions. Once again, it did not seem like many people were able to survive the accident, but many did.

After such a tumultuous week for travelers, one can only wonder…just why is it that some survive catastrophic accidents while others perish? Most people will say it is nothing more than good fortune, but it is actually a skill that can be learned.

Catastrophic Survival Skills

Recently, a correspondent for Good Morning America underwent crash survival training at a US Coast Guard facility in North Carolina. One of the standout pieces of the training was a machine known as “The Dunker”, which is nothing more than a machine that simulates the violent flipping, tossing, and throwing a person experiences during an emergency landing or any other sort of plane crash.

According to aviation safety experts, travelers should try to choose an aisle seat located somewhere within the vicinity of an emergency exit. This is an especially helpful rule to follow in the case of a water landing. If the plane begins sinking before you are able to exit the aircraft, you are instructed to fixate on a reference point and then quickly figure out where the nearest emergency exit is. Because passengers in a plane crash are jolted around dramatically, orientating yourself is quite difficult, and even more so underwater.

With regard to trains, experts say that you should avoid sitting in the very first or very last cars as they are the most likely to be hit by another train. Another piece of advice for train travelers is to always have your back facing the direction of travel. That way, if there is a collision, you will be pushed back into your seat as opposed to being thrown forward.

Everyone, at some point during their traveling lifetimes, has thought about the possibility of being involved in an accident of some sort. Though there is very little you can do to prevent the accident from taking place, there are certain tips you can be wary of that will greatly increase your chances of surviving an otherwise unsurvivable situation.