We are all familiar with the instructions when we are coming in to land, but have you ever questioned why we have to do these things?
It is all actually for our own safety and here is why.
Raising the blinds serves multiple purposes. If anything goes wrong during the descent or there is a requirement for an emergency landing, being able to get a view of the exterior of the plane allows the cabin crew to spot any potential hazards such as fire or twisted metal that could interfere with an evacuation. It also allows your eyes to adjust to the natural light level outside, and is why the cabin lights are also dimmed. If you do need to get out quickly, it’s very much easier if your eyes have adjusted rather than going from light to dark or vice versa, particularly if you are already disorientated.
The table is fairly obvious when you think about it. If there is sudden slow down or stop and you are thrown forward, you really don’t want to be ‘cut in half’ by a seat back table. Nor do you want to have to negotiate your way through other peoples seat back tables in the event of an evacuation. The clearer the route, the easier it will be to find your way out, particularly if there is debris, smoke and confusion.
As for putting your seat in an upright position, this is both to ensure the clearest, easiest escape routes, and to minimise the risk of whiplash injuries. It also prevents you from sliding under your seatbelt if there is an accident.
Which brings us to seatbelts or lap straps. In the event of an accident, a tightly fastened belt will keep you in your seat and able to orientate yourself when the plane comes to rest.
Accidents are rare, and when they do happen there are generally survivors. Following the basic instructions will enhance your chances of survival and reduce the risk of serious injuries.