Typical taxi speeds are less than 20 knots. These are speeds at which city-transport buses regularly operate & even exceed. Buses don't mandate seat belts & in fact even allow standees.

Now my question is: Is the risk of collision higher in a taxing aircraft? Are decelerations higher? Or do we operate in aviation with a lower risk appetite.

Just curious.

As a counterexample, during flight even if the seatbelt light is turned on, toilet-visits seem allowed (mostly, unless its severe turbulence). On the other hand, the ground taxi period seems an absolute PAX movement prohibition period akin to takeoff & landing.

Is ground-taxi riskier than in-flight seat-belts-on periods?

PS. Don't interpret this as advocacy to get rid the seat-belts during-taxi rule. Just curious about the differential risk assessment.

In any case most safety prohibitions are a risk-vs-convenience tradeoff. Just evaluating that tradeoff in this particular case.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ There's a reason commercial air travel is the safest form of travel $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Jun 11 '16 at 2:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TomMcW That aligns with my "lower risk appetite" theory then. Ironic that the very buses they use to take passengers to aircraft parked at remote stands regularly exceed 20 knots & don't have seat belts & are very often stuffed full of standees. :) $\endgroup$ Jun 11 '16 at 2:55
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The real danger would be moving luggage from overhead bin $\endgroup$
    – Him
    Jun 11 '16 at 3:07
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    $\begingroup$ I spent all day yesterday at an amusement park. I can't count how many times I heard, "Remain seated with your seatbelt fastened until the vehicle comes to a complete stop." I was hearing it in my sleep! $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Jun 11 '16 at 4:24
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    $\begingroup$ The fact that a bus don't have seat belts doesn't mean that seat belts would be useless. In my country, for a long time taxi drivers were allowed to drive without their belt on. But the risk was present. Now they need to fasten belts like any other driver. Just a matter of a corporation lobbying law makers. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jun 11 '16 at 23:44

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