How to Increase Your Chances of Surviving a Vehicle or Plane Crash

How to Increase Your Chances of Surviving a Vehicle or Plane Crash

No one likes to think of being involved in accidents or crash could happen to them, but should an accident occur there are statistically proven preparatory and response strategies that can increase your chances of surviving. These preparatory and response strategies have both physical and mental elements that when acted on together, may save your life.

Individuals trained in survival techniques will tell you that being prepared requires a positive mindset that is void of a fatalistic attitude that you are automatically doomed if involved in a significant accident. Rather, individuals who focus on the various things they could do to increase their odds of survival and act upon those thoughts and decisions have a greater chance of making it out alive.

How to Survive a Vehicle CrashHow to Prepare Ahead of Time to Increase Your Chances of Survival

  1. Dress appropriately. Yes, what you wear can have an impact on helping you survive a crash or increasing your risk of injury and not surviving.
  • Wear snug fitting as compared to loose-fitting clothing as this can offer protection against getting snagged on objects that could restrict your movement and chance of escaping a wreckage.
  • Wear clothing made of cotton or natural materials as these do not burn or melt as rapidly as does clothing made from synthetic materials. Any additional cushioning that layered clothing may offer can also help absorb impacts.
  • Wear shoes that can be tied with laces to prevent them from being knocked off. You might have to walk to a safe location or through sharp debris. Because lower extremity (foot, ankle, and leg) injuries are common in both vehicle and plane crashes, shoes that provide ankle support may also prove helpful in escaping the wreckage.
  • If you know you will be traveling in cold weather, making sure you have sufficient clothing that you could put on to protect you from the elements if needed is wise.
  1. Wear your seatbelt and be properly positioned. Whether in a vehicle or a plane, wearing your seatbelt offers protection.
  • As it pertains to a vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTFA) states that half of all vehicle accident deaths could have been prevented if the victim would have been properly wearing a seatbelt. Of course, the proper application requires that the lap belt be securely fastened low around your hips (hip bones). Wearing it higher not only reduces its effectiveness but may lead to damage to internal organs. Also, the shoulder harness should be securely worn across the shoulder and chest, and not tucked under your arm or placed behind your back. Your seat should be positioned mostly upright and your back pressed against it and feet placed flat on the floor. All the safety designs are based on this positioning.

Also, be sure that your airbags are in proper operating mode and engaged for activation should a crash occur.

  • As it pertains to a plane. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) states that a seatbelt must be applied (and shoulder harnesses if installed) during aircraft movement on surface, takeoff, and landing. If a crash is going to occur, research has shown that the best impact positioning is to lean forward and hold your head against the seat ahead of you to reduce the risk of the secondary impact of the head and pull your limbs inward toward your body to reduce them from flailing about on impact.

Lower extremity injury (broken feet and legs) is common in plane crashes and is associated with impending escape from the wreckage. Storing your carry-on bag beneath the seat in front of you, as compared to in the overhead storage, will offer some padding against injury and help prevent legs from sliding under and becoming caught or pinned.

While the FFA also states that no seat is safer than another on a plane, statistical data from post-analysis of plane crashes shows that individuals that sit in the middle seats of the rear 1/3 of the plane are safer, experiencing a 32% fatality rate, while those seated in the middle section of the plane have a 39% fatality rate, and those sitting in the front 1/3 section of the plane have a 38% fatality rate. It is believed that being somewhat protected from impact by being surrounded by other people and/or structures contributes to this protection. Further, sitting within 5 rows of an exit was also associated with increased survival rates, demonstrating that a quicker exit of a wreckage can make the difference between death and survival.

It is also strongly advised to pay close attention to the pre-flight safety briefing instructions as data has shown that most passengers do not pay attention. As a demonstration to the importance of paying attention, only 10 of the 150 passengers on board the 2009 US Airways flight that landed in the Hudson River grabbed their life vests and evacuated with them.

  1. How to Survive a Plane CrashEliminate potential flying objects, or properly secure them.

While this recommendation is more applicable as airline regulations require that your carry-on bags be properly stored in overhead bins or under the seat in front of you, the number of potentially dangerous objects that could be accelerated in high rates in the event of an accident. These projectiles could be unfastened passengers to cell phones, laptop computers, backpacks, pets, and a whole assortment of other items that people may carry in their vehicles.

Use storage locations wisely to secure as many items that are traveling with you, use unoccupied seatbelts to strap down backpacks, place certain objects under seats when possible, and take advantage of your trunk or pickup bed to place certain larger items.


What is a ANSI 107-2010 Class III Safety Apparel?

What is a ANSI 107-2010 Class III Safety Apparel?

9732- High Vis JacketThere are several safety regulatory organizations whose purpose is to provide guidelines designed to provide individuals, usually employees or workers, with protection from identified potential hazards associated with the work they perform.

The American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear (ANSI 107-2010) provides guidelines for the selection and use of high-visibility safety apparel ultimately directed toward keeping personnel/workers safe while on the job where worker visibility is reduced and the risk for collision between worker and vehicle or equipment is high. This is accomplished by making the worker more visible through outerwear designed to include fluorescent and reflective materials strategically placed on the apparel that cause the worker to significantly “standout” in a variety of environmental or trafficked conditions.

Specific to ANSI 107-2010 guidelines:

  • What are the applicable apparel items: Jackets – including rainwear, trousers, vests, shirts, coveralls, gloves, and headwear.
  • What are the typical settings where ANSI 107-2010 apparel is required: Workers in construction, maintenance, warehouse, emergency and incident responders – police, firefighters, EMS, utility services, airport ground crew, volunteers working public access roadways, etc.
  • In addition to the high-visibility reflective material requirements, what are other unique characteristics of ANSI 107-2010 apparel: The outerwear items must be engineered to be able to be worn comfortably for long periods of time (a full workday), uniquely designed or customized for different types of wearer activities, and also the varying degree of risk associated with the unique work environment and job performance requirements.

Have there been any revisions to ANSI 107-2010?

The ANSI/ISEA 107 – 2015 revision designates for a specific “type” of high visibility safety apparel based on the unique work environment of the wearer.

  • Type “O” (Off-road): Apparel designated for workers in an environment that involves moving vehicles or equipment, but that are not required by *MUTCD to wear high visibility safety apparel. This includes settings where there may be collision or struck-by hazards from moving vehicles, equipment or machinery not operating on public access rights of way or temporary control zones.

*Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) of the Federal Highway Administration.

  • Type “R” (Roadway): Apparel designated for workers in an environment with moving equipment or vehicles and are directly exposed to roadway traffic. These apparel items have additional amounts and location placement of high-visibility materials that allow for better outlining of the human form.
  • Type “P” (Public Safety – Police, Fire, EMS): Apparel designated to provide for additional options for emergency personnel such as police, firefighters, and Emergency Medical Services personnel. This requirement enhances the rapid differentiation between these different emergency and incident responders, as well as offers unique features that allow the individuals to carry and have convenient access to different equipment.

Because these different “types” of apparel allow for diversity based on a specific work environment and the associated risks, there are different classes based on the amount of background and reflective material to be used and specific placement requirements of reflective material, In addition, there may be unique technical or functional requirements for the specific job that affects the apparel design.

These types of apparel design requirements are thus designated into classes 1, 2, or 3.

  • Class 1: Intended for use by workers in jobs with the lowest risk. Specifics include jobs where traffic is slow, less than 25 mph, and work is taking place at a relatively safe distance from the traffic. These vests must have a minimum of 155 square inches of reflective tape and the strip must go around the middle of the vest as well as over the shoulder. Sleeves are not required with this class of vest. These apparel items usually come in yellow, orange, and lime colors.
  • Class 2: Intended for use by workers in work environments that pose a greater risk than that of the Class 1. For example, these requirements include traffic moving less than 50 mph but greater than 25 mph. These vests must be larger in size as they require that more high visibility and reflective areas be visible. They must provide at least 775 inches of safety yellow or orange background material and 201 square inches of reflective stripping. These apparel items usually come in yellow, orange, and lime colors.
  • Class 3: Intended for workers in the most dangerous or highest risk environments. These vests require more surface area of high-visibility material and are typically worn by workers where nearby traffic is traveling in excess of 50 mph. It also is for use by emergency personnel or tow truck operators working in hazardous conditions such as during a hurricane or blizzard or other conditions where visibility is at a minimum.

One of the best selling ANSI 107-2010 Class III high-visibility jackets is made by Charles River Apparel and sold by Sweatshirt Station. You can purchase this jacket by clicking the link HERE.

Are Rain Jacket Reflective Strips Helpful?

Driving at night - OSDA few nights ago, while I was driving back from visiting my parents, I saw a jogger nearly get hit by a car. I could tell that the driver of the other vehicle didn’t see the jogger – I dont blame him or her as the jogger was wearing a black jacket with dark blue sweat pants. Although most people do not have a safety vest in their wardrobe, whenever I’m driving in the dark or rain and fail to see a pedestrian as soon as I’d like, I wish everyone was wearing reflective gear! 

So, are rain jackets reflective strips helpful? YES! A reflective stripe acts as a source of light as it bounces the light from headlights or street lamps into onlookers’ eyes to make the wearer more visible. It is beneficial in a variety of situations. 

The obvious few individuals who have safety reflective strips on their apparel are safety workers at construction sites or traffic control workers. Emergency personnel may also have reflective stripes on safety vests so they are visible in all sorts of situations where they are needed so that citizens can see them coming. 

Whether you are a safety worker, work on a construction site or not, being seen on a rainy day, thunderstorm or when it’s getting dark outside can keep everyone safe. 

Reflective Apparel for Everyone

Investing in a reflective vest or jacket to wear while running is a great idea, especially if you plan on running in the dark or in low visibility settings such as rain or snow. However, a reflective vest isn’t always fashionably sensible for someone who is out at night with friends and family to dinner or the movies. As a result, some companies have designed high-quality apparel that have built-in safety reflective strips on the jacket.

One such company is Charles River Apparel. They have a line of rain jackets that are fashionable, comfortable and durable. The jackets are designed with a safety reflective strip on the jacket. The great thing is that the company has jackets for all ages (Adults to Toddlers). Having rain jackets with a built-in safety reflective strip will greatly improve the ability of drivers to see you in the dark, rain or snow! It is especially helpful for younger children who may not be tall enough to be as visible to oncoming cars. Teaching kids to stay out of the road can take a few months before they grasp the seriousness of the situation and develop the maturity to be able to follow through with that understanding. 

Our whole family has the Charles River Rain Jacket in a matching color for the girls. The similar color for the girls helps us spot them quickly and easily when we are in large crowds. I like that they are light and compact well so they do not take up a lot of space on trips and can easily packed in my car, bag or purse. They are small enough so that we can store them in the back of our car for quick access when it starts getting cooler and dark outside. The jackets are not tight-fitting so they can also act as an outer layer over a big sweater in the Fall or Spring depending upon your weather. I have also found that because they are not tight fitted, they fit my kids for years and I don’t have to worry about them outgrowing them in the first season. 

Charles River Rain Jackets for the whole Family

At the park, kids can become distracted easily and with all the excitement of playing can easily forget the dangerous road only a few feet away. Likewise, it is easy to become distracted while driving these days. If you add little wet roads or setting sun, visibility can decrease quickly. I always feel more comfortable when my kids have a reflective strip on their jacket to make sure they can always be seen. 

It is also easier for me to spot them in the yard when it starts getting dark. I am a big believer that it definitely takes a village to raise a community and if we want others to watch out for our children when we aren’t in reach than let’s make sure they can always be seen.

Below are the rain jackets we got for our family – I highly recommend them! – Stay Safe!

1- Men’s New Englander Rain Jacket 9199
Women’s New Englander Rain Jacket 5099
Girls New Englander Rain Jacket 4099
Youth New Englander Rain Jacket 8099
Children’s New Englander Rain Jacket 7099
Toddler New Englander Rain Jacket 6099

Guest Post By: EMILY

22 Things You Should Never do When Using a Ladder – Ever


Recently I wrote an article about the ladder 4 to 1 Rule, which you can read HERE, a helpful guideline for properly using a ladder in providing common sense ladder safety in the prevention of falls from the ladder. Simply following the 4 to 1 rule won’t guarantee your safety, but used in conjunction with these 22 other “never do when using a ladder” common sense strategies should greatly reduce the risk of falls and other ladder mishaps.

  • Leave a ladder unattended
  • Use during poor weather conditions
  • Climb on the non-rung side of a step ladder
  • Use a broken ladder
  • Shuffle, slide, or shake the ladder to move it
  • Pull or push on an object
  • Use the wrong type of ladder for the job
  • Stand on the top of the ladder
  • Drop, throw, or tip over a Ladder
  • Poorly place the ladder when in Use
  • Lean beyond the edge of the ladder
  • Use it as a bridge, shelf, or any other non-ladder purpose task
  • Tie two or more ladders together to make it longer
  • Exceed the maximum weight for the ladder
  • Slide down the ladder’s edge
  • Skip steps/rungs
  • Climb the ladder with wet or slick shoes
  • Use uncertified accessories
  • Sit on or face backwards of the ladder
  • Carry heavy items up or down the ladder
  • Catching an item thrown up to you
  • Goof off or play around while up on the ladder


To better understand why we shouldn’t do these things listed above, let’s take a look at each one in detail. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll be better prepared for safety the next time you pull out the ladder to do a home project.

  • Leave a ladder unattended

Leaving a ladder unattended is an accident waiting to happen. Just the other day, while my family and I were out for a family drive looking at some of the new homes being developed in the area, I noticed that the workers at one particular job site had left their ladder up against the partially framed house after a long day’s work. It could be very easy and tempting for a child or adult, to climb up to look around, unaware of any unseen danger.

Once you are done using the ladder, put it away. Not just laid down on the ground, but properly stored away to prevent its use.

  • Use under poor weather conditions

Avoid using the ladder in poor weather conditions such as the rain, snow, or wind. Any one of these environmental conditions can increase the likelihood of an accident occurring.

Most ladders are made of metal and are extremely slippery when wet (rain or snow) and strong winds can push over any ladder.

Note: If you do HAVE to climb up the ladder in poor weather conditions, make sure to take every safety precaution possible.

For example:

  • Have a person holding onto the base of the ladder for better support
  • Use good gripping shoes
  • Use two hands while going up or down the ladder
  • Use PPE
  • Climb on the non-rung side of a step ladder

Some step ladders have rungs or steps on both sides of the “A-Frame” design and others only have rungs/steps on one side with support bars on the other side. The support bars are not designed for a person to climb on or to handle weight directly on them.

To prevent the ladder from being damaged and compromising the design of the ladder, you should only use the step/rungs side of any ladder.

  • Use a broken ladder

Never use a broken ladder for any reason, even if it is “real quick”. A bent or broken ladder should be discarded immediately. In fact, inspecting the ladder before using it is part of the ladders pre-use checklist which you can read about HERE.

  • Shuffle, slide, or shake the ladder to move it

We’ve all been there, right – up on a ladder doing a project, whether for your home or on the job site, and you need to move the ladder over just a few inches to finish the job. You quickly assess the amount of time it will take you to climb down, move the ladder over, and climb back up, and compare that to simply performing a quick little shuffle or slide the ladder over while you skillfully hold on at the top.

Not surprisingly this is one of the major reasons why people fall from ladders. Always take the time to climb down and properly move the ladder over so that it is erected straight up and on even ground. If you would like to learn more about the major reasons why falls occur on ladders, read our other article titled, “Why People Fall from Ladders and How to Prevent Them

  • Pull or push on an object

While standing on the ladder, it can be extremely dangerous to try and push or pull on an object, regardless if it is big or small. The reason for this is because you don’t have the ability to brace yourself and counteract the force like you would if you were standing on the ground.

Remember, you are only as stable as the ladder.

  • Use the wrong type of ladder for the job

A friend of mine has a lightbulb that needs to be replaced in a living room that has a 20-foot ceiling. When I asked him how he was planning on replacing the lightbulb, he said smiling, “Oh easily, I have a 15-foot ladder and I’m 6 foot”.

I quickly pointed out that ladders are not designed for the person to stand on the very top. The warning label on most ladders says to never ascend beyond the last step before the top of the ladder.

  • Stand on the top of the ladder

I think I answered this in the point above. This too is one of the major reason why people fall from ladders which is mentioned in our other article. Your balance is even more compromised and you have absolutely nothing to brace against.

  • Drop, throw, or tip over a Ladder
    This is extremely dangerous. Not only could this compromise the ladders effectiveness and preparedness for the next time you need to use the ladder, but could also injure someone below – dashing around a corner catching you by surprise.

    Once you are done using the ladder, carefully take it down and put it away so that it doesn’t get knocked or blown over.

  • Poorly place the ladder when in Use
    Sometimes the ground will not be level can make the ladder lean to one side. If this is the case, do not climb the ladder. Rather, find a new place to set up the ladder where the ground is level and safe to climb.
  • Use a step ladder or an extension ladder incorrectly

Never use a ladder that isn’t set up correctly. Step ladders must be fully folded out and the locks in place to prevent them from collapsing. Likewise, extension ladders must be locked in place to prevent it from sliding back down when in use.

  • Tie two or more ladders together to make it longer
    Let’s say you have a wall that is 20 feet high and you only have two 10-foot ladders. Which of the following should you do:
    A- Rent or buy a 20+ foot ladder
    B- Skillfully tie the two ladders together to make a 20-foot ladder

If you chose option B, I worry about you! Ladders are not designed to be tied together even though we may see the feat performed on YouTube fails compilation. This is certainly an accident waiting to happen.

  • Exceed the maximum weight for the ladder

Ladders are designed to carry a certain amount of weight and not more. The person using the ladder plus all of his or her tools must not exceed the manufacturers recommended weight limit.

The weight limit will be shown on the side of the ladder. Exceeding this limit may damage the ladder and could put you at risk of injury.

  • Slide down the ladder’s edge

I can remember watching a movie were one of the actors, a fireman, quickly slid down the ladder by placing his feet on the outsides of the ladder, his hands holding firmly onto the side while he slid down the ladder. I can remember thinking it would be cool to try.

Luckily I never did. While this looks fun, it can be dangerous. Especially if your fingers were to get caught on the side or you slip from a significant height.

  • Skip steps/rungs
    It can be annoying going up and down the ladder while working on a project, especially if you have to do it several times or are in a big hurry. It may be tempting to skip a step or two to save time.

    Never Skip a ladder rung or step regardless of how much of a hurry you are in. It can compromise your balance and potentially lead to an accident.

  • Climb the ladder with wet or slick shoes
    This should be obvious, having wet or slick shoes can cause you to slip and fall while using the ladder. It’s best to have good gripping shoes. Shoes with a good grip on them will enhance your grip and hopefully help the efficiency of your climb.
  • Use uncertified accessories
    There are a lot of products on the market that you can add to your ladder to make a job easier. However, each of these products have undergone a series of tests to ensure that they will not interfere with the ladders functions and the safety of the user.

    This means rigging up your own paint holder to the extensions ladder might not be the best idea.

  • Sit on or face backward of the ladder
    You should not use a rung/step of a ladder for a perch location. Not only is this uncomfortable, but can be dangerous. Without your hands holding onto the side of the ladder, there is only one way you can go if you slip – and that’s down.
  • Carry heavy items up or down the ladder
    Carrying a heavy 5-gallon paint bucket up the ladder can be dangerous. This not only shifts your balance, but also prevents you from holding onto the ladder with two hands.

    Remember, there must always be at least three points of contact when going up or down a ladder -2 hands with 1 foot, or 1 hand with 2 feet.

  • Catching an item thrown up to you
    While using a ladder, you need to be focused on what your doing of the task at hand. Trying to catch a tool that has been thrown up to you will temporarily shift your focus from balancing on the ladder to catching the wrench.
  • Goofing off or play around while up on the ladder
    A fall from a ladder can have serious consequences of injury or even death. This is not the place to act silly or play around. People who have become too comfortable with using a ladder because they have been using one their whole lives are at the greatest risk of ignoring all the safety rules of proper ladder usage.