This is the best place to be sitting if your airplane is about to crash

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In a Plane Crash, Where You Sit May Save Your Life

In 2012, scientists did a weird thing. But it was a good thing.

They intentionally flew a Boeing 737 aircraft into the Mexican desert to learn how people survive plane crashes.

The results they ended up with revealed some pretty surprising information.

One of the biggest takeaways was that, depending on where you sit in the plane, your chances of survival can vary wildly. Sit in first class, your chances don't look so hot. Sit behind a wing or in the back — who knows? You might just walk away with a headache.

Sit in first class, your chances don't look so hot. Sit behind a wing or in the back — who knows? You might just walk away with a headache.

We should clarify up top that airplanes are orders of magnitude safer than most other forms of transportation. The chances of dying in a car accident are roughly one in 5,000. Plane crashes, meanwhile, are closer to one in 11 million.

These things are safe.

But as the researchers in 2012 found, the way airplanes crash can lead to certain parts of their anatomy absorbing more impact than others. The greatest force hits the cockpit, which tears away from the cabin almost immediately. As the plane's momentum carries it further still, those in first class risk serious injury — from whiplash, high-speed impact, and the extreme pressure put on vulnerable joints.

Seat 7A, for example, was found 500 feet from the crash site.

Moving toward the back of the plane, death isn't so certain. The crash-test dummies rigged toward the middle of the plane, near the exit rows, only seemed to sustain minor head injuries. The dummy that wasn't wearing its seatbelt felt even greater damage from being jostled around.

Overall, however, the team found the safest place was far and away the back of the plane. It was the furthest from the moment of impact, but still maintained access to the exit rows for quick escape.

Other data backs up that finding.

An analysis conducted by TIME magazine last year concluded the safest places to sit are in the middle seats toward the back of the plane. Data showed people in those seats died 28% of the time, while people further up in the plane died closer to 40% of the time.

Both TIME and the 2012 scientists concede that the circumstance of the crash are important. A plane that goes into a tailspin won't have the same outcome as one that takes a nosedive, so the back of the plane isn't always the safest.

But if you're feeling anxious about that flight coming up, you might feel better moving your seat a little closer to the rear of the plane. Sure, you'll be next to the bathroom, but at least you're hedging your bets for the sake of survival.

Read the original article on Tech Insider. Follow Tech Insider on Facebook and Twitter. Copyright 2016.

Related: Never sat in first class? See what the luxury looks like in different planes:

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This is the best place to be sitting if your airplane is about to crash
In-flight refreshments are arranged in a first-class seat onboard a Boeing Co. B777-300ER aircraft operated by American Airlines Group Inc. at Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. American Airlines in December will start daily flights between Sydney and Los Angeles, allowing Qantas Airways Ltd. at the same time to reopen a route from Sydney to San Francisco. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Passenger seating and a bed sit in the first class cabin of an Airbus A380-800 aircraft, operated by Qatar Airways Ltd., on the opening day of the 14th Dubai Air Show at Dubai World Central (DWC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. The Dubai Air Show is the biggest aerospace event in the Middle East, Asia and Africa and runs Nov. 8 - 12. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An in-flight meal is arranged in a first-class seat onboard a Boeing Co. B777-300ER aircraft operated by American Airlines Group Inc. at Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. American Airlines in December will start daily flights between Sydney and Los Angeles, allowing Qantas Airways Ltd. at the same time to reopen a route from Sydney to San Francisco. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A picture taken on June 16, 2015 during the International Paris Airshow at Le Bourget shows the first class area of a Qatar Airlines' A380. AFP PHOTO / /MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Akbar Al Baker, chief executive officer of Qatar Airways Ltd., left, and Timothy 'Tim' Clark, inspect the First Class bar area during a tour of an Airbus SAS A380 aircraft, operated by Qatar Airways Ltd., on day two of the 51st International Paris Air Show in Paris, France, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. The 51st International Paris Air Show is the world's largest aviation and space industry exhibition and takes place at Le Bourget airport June 15 - 21. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images
First Class passenger booths sit on the upper deck of an Airbus SAS A380 aircraft, operated by Qatar Airways Ltd., on day two of the 51st International Paris Air Show in Paris, France, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. The 51st International Paris Air Show is the world's largest aviation and space industry exhibition and takes place at Le Bourget airport June 15 - 21. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Entertainment screens operate on first class cabin booths aboard an Airbus SAS A380 aircraft, operated by Qatar Airways Ltd., on the opening day of the 51st International Paris Air Show in Paris, France, on Monday, June 15, 2015. The 51st International Paris Air Show is the world's largest aviation and space industry exhibition and takes place at Le Bourget airport June 15 - 21. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Akbar Al Baker, center left, CEO of Qatar Airways, and Ray Conner, center right, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, take questions from reporters as they hold a press conference Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, in the first class cabin of the 25th Boeing 787 airplane purchased by the airline, following a delivery ceremony in Everett, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Media members look over the first class section before delivery by Boeing of the first 747-8 Intercontinental Tuesday, May 1, 2012, in Everett, Wash. Lufthansa is the launch customer for the Intercontinental and will start service with the airplane between Frankfurt, Germany and Washington, D.C. The 747-8 Intercontinental is a stretched, updated version of the iconic 747 and is expected to bring double-digit improvements in fuel burn and emissions over its predecessor, the 747-400, and generate 30 percent less noise. Boeing delivered the first 747-8 Intercontinental to a private customer in February, more than a year after originally planned. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Ray Conner, left, Boeing president and CEO of commercial airlines, explains the first class section as Walter Cho, Korean Air executive vice president and chief marketing officer, tries out reclining seat on a new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental jet that Korean Air took delivery of Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, in Everett, Wash. The jet is the first of 10 of the passenger airplanes the carrier has on order with Boeing. With the delivery, Korean Air becomes the first airline to operate both passenger and freighter versions of the 747-8. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
FILE - This file photo taken Sunday, May 4, 2014, shows the 125-square-foot (11.61-square-meter) area that includes a "living room" partitioned off from the first-class aisle, leather seating, a chilled mini-bar and a 32-inch flat-screen TV, at a training facility in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The area was created as a mock-up suite to be built in Etihad Airways airplanes. Abu Dhabi's national carrier, Etihad, showcased on Thursday, Dec. 18, the arrival of its first Airbus A380, outfitted with "the only three-room suite in the sky." (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)
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