1. Start by selecting the right airline - you can check out a list of all airlines around the world and their safety records on the Aviation Safety Network. Selecting the right airline is a vital first step.
2. Where possible, pre-book your seat. Statistically1, the rear of the aircraft is safer and aisle2 seats will allow you to get out of the aircraft quickly. Never sit in a seat more than five rows away from an emergency exit and always count and remember the number of seat rows between you and the nearest exit.
3. Familiarise yourself with your nearest exit and visualise how you would get there in an emergency (bearing in mind that there will be general panic and other people clambering to reach it as well).
4. Do not remove your shoes before take-off. If you need to get off the aircraft quickly, or if there's a fire, you will be glad of your shoes. Remember also to have them on for landing. Most incidents happen at take-off or landing. Avoid travelling in high-heeled shoes.
5. In an emergency evacuation, you must leave all personal belongings3 behind. Carry-on bags will slow your exit and create a hazard for you and others. Don't wait for others to move; many will be paralysed by fear. Get yourself out regardless of what others are doing.
6. Listen to the instructions of the cabin crew and follow their commands. Their purpose is to protect you.
7. Avoid travelling by road at night - you significantly increase your chances of an accident after dark. In developing countries, road lighting4 may be non-existent and often vehicles either don't have working lights or don't use them.
8. Check whether there are proper seat belts. If there are not, find another seat - or better still another vehicle.
9. If travelling alone in a taxi, always sit directly behind the driver and never in the front seat. If his intentions are not bona fide, sitting directly behind him makes you less accessible and gives you a better chance of fleeing the vehicle if necessary.
10. If you are unsure about anything, however, it is well worth seeking medical advice before setting off. Bear in mind that some vaccinations5 can't be given to people with certain medical conditions. There are also some diseases which can't be vaccinated6 against.
11. In recent times viruses like Ebola and Zika have made headline news, sweeping7 through certain parts of the world. It's therefore vital that you check on the latest advice for your destination with your GP's surgery or the Foreign Office.
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