Seatbelts, are said to be the object that causes the most deaths in emergency situations on airplanes. (this part is hearsay, just ancillary! :) )

I free-dive, and one of the rules we were taught is that for emergency situations, the diving belt should be set up so that it is released with your preferred hand. So, unclip opening from left to right for a right-hander, and vice verse for a left-hander. (the belt buckles are the same)

This is a rule to stop confusion and save time in emergency situations, for obvious reasons.

My observation is that, given that 90% of the world is right handed, it would make sense to make all of the seatbelts right-hand quick release, but as I see them, on every airline I have flown, the seatbelts are 50/50, and randomly dispersed.

Seems like a very cheap miss to increase safety in emergency situations!

[question] are there no free divers who design airplanes?!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ What exactly is your question about seatbelts? $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Jul 17 at 19:09
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    $\begingroup$ Then you're going to have left handers launching civil rights suits over anti-left-hand discrimination. $\endgroup$ – John K Jul 17 at 20:17
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    $\begingroup$ @John K - if the system is consistent, then left handers can be told to be prepared for the quick release being right handed, having been informed in the safety video! $\endgroup$ – Ilya Grushevskiy Jul 17 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ @IlyaGrushevskiy - Maybe you can add a citation or reference to where it is said that seatbelts contribute to deaths in aviation. Most GA airplanes use seatbelts similar to car seatbelts. Airliner seatbelts are generally one of two designs. Both are fairly ambidextrous. Maybe your anecdotal evidence is from the use of racing or military style safety harnesses. Helicopters and airplanes that fly with their doors/canopies open or removed, and aerobatic airplanes sometimes use a style nicknamed the dial-o-death due to it being complicated to use for a novice. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Jul 18 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ Aviation seatbelts generally are no more difficult to operate than automotive seatbelts. Safety harnesses are the exception in both industries. Both have left-hand and right-hand seatbelts. And, both have fatalities that might have survived if not for the seatbelt. Cars more so than aircraft. Anecdotally, most of those fatalities can be linked back to the inability of the panicked individual to operate their seatbelt regardless of their dominant hand-seatbelt orientation. Some are linked to jammed seatbelts. Making all seatbelts right-handed would not fix this. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Jul 18 at 20:31

If you look closely, you will notice that you can unclip the seatbelt assembly from the seat. If one is worried whether they are able to unclip the seatbelt in an emergency, they can switch the "handedness" of the buckle.

To be honest, if this buckle thing was actually noticed to be a factor in injury rates, something would definitely have been done already. Aviation is a very very very safety oriented industry (exluding certain Big plane manufacturers recent major slip), and you can rest assured, that a simple issue like this would have been fixed if it actually was an issue.

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you saying that an airline passenger can unclip the seatbelt assembly from the seat and then clip it onto on the other side without tools? $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 Jul 20 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. They are not permanently bolted on. At least on any acft I've ever flown on, and I've flown on many. $\endgroup$ – Jpe61 Jul 21 at 10:59

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