The Safest Airplane Seat Is Also The One That Nobody Wants

When we book a flight, we typically select seats according to comfort, convenience, aisle or window preference, and price. And, of course, we'll always try to avoid the middle seat whenever possible. Maybe you prefer easy access to the bathroom. Maybe legroom is king. Regardless of your particular preference or budget, you probably don't consider safety when choosing an airplane seat.

If we're given the option, most of us prefer a seat toward the front that allows us to deplane as quickly as possible. Whether you're in a rush to catch a connecting flight or not, there are few better feelings when traveling than exiting a plane after a long flight.

However, if you're an anxious flyer or data-driven risk-avoider, the front of the plane is not the safest place to sit on a plane. In fact, the safest place is actually the seats we typically try hardest to avoid.

Remember, flying is incredibly safe

Before taking off, we should mention that flying is extraordinarily safe. While it may not always feel like it on particularly turbulent flights, you're more likely to die from a whole lot of day-to-day activities than on a plane. We've all heard flying is the safest way to travel, but how much safer?

According to CNN and the U.S. National Safety Council, your odds to die in a plane crash are 1 in 205,552, while your odds to die in a car crash are 1 in 102. So, yeah, you're almost 20,000 times more likely to die in a car crash. You're also more likely to die on a boat or train.

Considering the millions of airplane flights that take off and land each day, in all kinds of weather conditions, crashes are incredibly rare. With that said, if you're a flyer who appreciates every safety precaution available, then you'll need to pad the timeframes of your connecting flights

You're buffered in the back

To find the safest seat on the plane, you'll need to head toward the back. And once you're in the back of the airplane, you'll need to forget about any window or aisle seat preference. That's right. The safest place on an airplane is found in the middle seats of the back rows.

According to a 2015 Time investigation, which analyzed 35 years of airplane data, passengers who sat in middle seats toward the back of the plane had a 28% fatality rate, the lowest of any location. If you like safety but can't deal with back middle seats, the second-safest options are aisle seats toward the middle of the plane.

The reasoning is pretty simple. In the back, you're somewhat buffered from a collision occurring in the front. You'd also be sitting near exit rows. Although this may calm the nerves of some, we're more anxious about overhead compartment space. For people who hate checking bags, the back is the most dangerous place to land.