Some say that being in the wrong place at the wrong time can’t be avoided. Knowing where the safest place to sit at a given event or situation can greatly affect your odds of survival. When random chance throws a circumstance at you, and your handling of it will make the difference between life and death. Some may even think of it as a vicious game of chance: Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
Finding the Safest Place to Sit
But is that really true? Do you, in fact, have no input when it comes to a seemingly random act in which you could become seriously injured or, worse, die? These situations are varied. From a plane crash to a natural disaster to a movie theater fire, an escalated protest, or a concert where drunken attendees become violent, the scenarios are diverse. Still, the results are too similar if you become an innocent victim.
There is a way, however, to turn the odds in your favor and decrease your chances of becoming a statistic. This is accomplished by knowing where to position yourself at various venues in large groups or traveling in multiple vehicles. This “safe spot” is the best location for you to avoid major injury and death—and here’s where this oasis in the middle of violence and destruction can be found.
Seat Planning in Large Venues
Nearly everyone likes to attend concerts, sporting events, amusement parks, and other large, fun-filled gatherings. However, with all those people comes plenty of danger.
The chances of being hit by a ball or puck at baseball or hockey games are greater than you think. On average, 28 baseballs fly into the stands per game. That adds up to nearly 2,500 foul balls per season in the major league. For hockey, pucks hitting spectators’ faces and requiring stitches or hospital visits are frequent occurrences. For you, the spectator, the best seats are behind the protective fences or far enough up in the stand. There, a stray puck or ball can’t reach you.
Safe Seats at Popular Places
The dangers appear when aggressive, hyped-up, and possibly drunk fans begin to get out of hand. They now pose a risk to your safety or the safety of your family. Aisle seats offer a quick exit, and you should choose seat sections near the stairways. Leaving the stadium will be fast, and you can beat the crowds if the spectators begin a mini-riot or mass exodus.
When enjoying a movie in a darkened theater, trouble can arise in the form of a fire or a possible random shooter. While most people like viewing a film in the theater front and center, this isn’t the best location in an emergency. Obviously enough, sitting close to an exit door is the wisest choice. Note not only your closest exit but also the other exits in the theater. If the closest exit becomes blocked, you must have a secondary plan.
Concerts are tough. Music is pumping throughout the venue, and people yell, dance, or jump. It can be chaos. Unlike a movie theater, your first priority should be recognizing the exit points throughout the venue. With pre-purchasing tickets online, it should be an easy task to choose your seats closest to one of the “escape” points. Avoid the seats on the floor in the center of the crowd. If an emergency occurs, you might not only be trapped from leaving but also possibly trampled by masses of people fleeing in all directions.
Outside Gatherings in Large Groups
Protests and demonstrations can accomplish a lot of good, but they can also be a center for violence that can escalate within seconds. If you want to be a participant of a friendly gathering, be aware that it may turn bad quickly. As such, your strategic positioning within the group will be your saving grace during unpredictable and unforeseen chaos. Knowing the safest place to sit during a “SIT_IN” is, without a doubt, very important.
The perimeter of the protest or demonstration area should be your primary location. This spot offers the safest point in the crowd. You are neither bunched into the center where escape would be almost impossible nor so far away that you draw attention to yourself for being aloof and possibly becoming a target to others. By staying on the outskirts of the “action,” you can escape quickly down a side street if trouble erupts.
When demonstrators hit the streets and decide to march, trouble can occur for those in the wrong area of the moving mass. Again, those in the middle of the group tend to have the greatest risk of injury. As many moving people hit a bottleneck in their path, the surrounding crowd becomes denser and thus more susceptible to pushing, shoving, and unwanted personal physical contact. Keeping yourself towards the rear of the pack not only allows you to avoid such a situation but also ensures ample time to disperse if the front of the pack encounters verbal or, worse, physical opposition.
Safest Place to Sit When Traveling
People must travel daily, whether by car, plane, train, or bus. Because of this, accidents and deaths occur due to crashes, explosions, and derailments.
When choosing a seat on an airplane, many assume that an aisle spot offers the best chance of survival because you can exit the quickest if needed. This is flawed logic. In a study by Time magazine in which plane accidents were examined from 1985 to 2000, it was found that the safest seats on a plane are statistically the middle seats towards the back of the airplane. Ironically, the aisle seats near the middle third of the aircraft were the least safe, with the most fatalities. Naturally, seats near the exits increase a person’s survival rate after a crash.
Concerning trains, two primary accidents may occur—crashes and derailments—with the latter happening far more frequently than the former. It stands to reason that positioning oneself in the middle of the train will offer a safer location than at the front or the back in the event of a crash. As for a derailment, an aisle seat is safer than a window seat. You’ll be less likely to be injured by glass than thrown from the train. Rear-facing seats are safer than front-facing seats because a person will be pushed back into the seat, resulting in less impact than those in a front-facing seat. The people facing forward are likelier to be ejected from their seats and incur more serious injuries.
Auto Accidents Lead the Way
When you are driving an automobile, which, by the way, is the most dangerous means of travel, nearly 39,000 people died in car crashes in 2019, and 4.4 million more sustained injuries. The overwhelming choice for the best seat has historically been the middle seat of the back of the vehicle. While this is still true for children, some recent studies have recommended the front seats as the safest for adults. Why would this be, one may ask?
Safety features and technology have increased dramatically over the years, so crumple zones, multiple airbags, and shock-absorbing airbags are now present in many vehicles. In addition, when adults sit in the back seat, they tend to neglect to put on their seat belts. Most states only require people to wear seat belts in the front seats by law. Which only adds to their chances of suffering injury or death in a crash.
Finally, on buses, where would a person find the safest seat? Like trains, it’s best to sit in the middle of the bus in an aisle seat opposite oncoming traffic. It’s best to sit in the middle of the bus in an aisle seat opposite oncoming traffic like trains.
Overall, there’s a lot to think about the next time you need to travel, but by taking a little time to make the correct decision on your seating, you may very well walk away from an accident unscathed.
Mother Nature’s Wrath
Nature doesn’t play favorites. No matter whether humans have created a flourishing city with hundreds of thousands of people or there’s only a primitive tribe with a few straw huts, if a storm, earthquake, or tsunami is let loose in an area, destruction will most likely occur.
This is true, without a doubt, but by knowing what natural disasters may occur in your immediate area, you can formulate a plan to assist you in making it through alive if the worst-case scenario happens. For earthquakes, your “safe spot’ would be under a sturdy table, desk, or other structure protecting you from falling debris above you.
Stay away from windows during a hurricane and seek shelter in an interior room. Bathrooms work well if there are no windows. Stay on the ground floor if possible. If a tornado hits your area, retreat into a basement if you have one. If not, avoid all windows and find a small interior room, like a bathroom or closet. Under a stairway also works in a pinch.
Floods and tsunamis naturally require you to seek higher ground. For those in traditional flood zones or living along the coast, an emergency bag should be packed and ready to go when high water threatens. Your rooftop, a nearby tall building, or higher natural terrain is your target when avoiding the powerful force of water coming your way.
Preplanning Is The Key
Whether you’re traveling, attending an outdoor show, or watching the latest blockbuster at the local Cineplex, the possibility that danger can come your way is very real. It should be at the forefront of your thinking. Paranoia is one thing; being prepared is another. Once you’re in tune with the latter, you can enjoy whatever activity you want and be assured that when or if the situation turns bad, you’ll have your escape route well planned out and ready to implement. There’s a safe spot for everyone; the time is now to find yours.
What about when Standing?
Finding the safest place to sit isn’t really an option when riding the elevator. Even though an elevator is only about the size of a large closet in your home, there is still a spot within it that offers you some safety in the event of a physical attack by a stranger. Usually, attacks occur in apartment or condominium complexes where the number of people riding the elevator is relatively low, but violence can occur in large skyscrapers, too. The key location in an elevator is directly next to the control panel with your back to the wall. This allows no one to surprise you with an attack from behind and gives you the agency to hit the alarm button if trouble occurs. Standing by the button controls, you can also prevent your possible assailant from controlling where the elevator stops and when the doors open or close.
Accidents By The Numbers
With people fearing plane crashes and train derailments, as well as news article after news article about deadly car and truck crashes on the interstate, one may wonder which are the safest modes of travel in today’s hectic society. Wonder no more: These numbers from 2018 records tell the true tale.
- Elevators: 30 fatalities
- Commercial Airline: 534 fatalities
- Passenger Train: 818 fatalities
- Trucks & Buses: 5,005 fatalities
- Walking: 6,227 fatalities
- Automobiles: 36,560 fatalities