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Aviation accidents and incidents
How to evacuate in an emergency
There are best practices for evacuating an airplane that can save lives — including your own.
- Follow all instructions from crew members.
- Stay buckled up until instructed to evacuate.
- Keep your row clear of any objects.
- Be aware of your surroundings. This means counting the rows to your nearest exit(s), since smoke or darkness may later obscure your view.
- Listen to the safety briefing and check the seat-back safety card no matter how frequently you fly because there can be major differences among aircraft cabins.
- Keep your shoes on. Also, avoid flip-flops that can fall off, as well as sharp heels that catch on evacuation slides.
- If holding an infant, jump onto an evacuation slide rather than sitting and sliding. A detailed 2001 study from the International Civil Aviation Organization in 2001 found that tactic led to faster evacuation.