With the arrival of the holiday season, many Floridians make plans to travel and visit loved ones and friends. In terms of time and convenience, airplane travel is often the fastest and most cost effective way to travel, enabling you to get anywhere in the world in just a fraction of the time it would take using other forms of transportation. While heightened security measures often result in airport delays, flying is still considered one of the safest ways to travel. Though your odds of being involved in a plane crash are low, injuries due to in-flight turbulence are surprisingly common. Before your next flight, make sure you know the potential damages that can be caused by these types of injuries, as well as what you can do to prevent them.

Turbulence-Related Injuries

Turbulence is common for aircrafts, and cases involving airplane turbulence can cause planes to make emergency landings as well as switch flight patterns. A November 2015 incident involving turbulence on an American Airlines flight out of Chicago resulted in the plane being turned around mid-travel to return to the airport, and injuries caused by turbulence on a Calgary flight to Phoenix earlier in the month sent several passengers to the hospital and caused the plane to make an emergency landing in Salt Lake City. Injuries resulting from airplane turbulence are often caused by falls and falling items, and the effects can range from mild to serious and may include head injuries and concussions, muscle sprains or strains, and fractures or lacerations.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports that turbulence occurs due to air movement that is not visible to pilots, and it is often impossible for pilots to predict when they will run into turbulent conditions. Causes of in-flight turbulence include the following:

  • Changes in atmospheric pressure;
  • Cooler air around mountains and jet streams;
  • Cold or warm weather systems and fronts; and
  • Thunderstorms and hazardous weather conditions.

What to Do In the Event of Turbulence

The FAA advises passengers not to be alarmed by in-flight turbulence, and that encountering moderate amounts of turbulence on any given flight is normal and to be expected. Pilots are well trained in how to handle turbulence, and are able to make decisions regarding flight paths to ensure passengers arrive safely at their destination. As a passenger, you can help protect yourself against injury during turbulence by following these safety tips from the FAA:

  • Always remain buckled in your seat during turbulence.
  • Pay attention to all safety instructions from the flight crew.
  • Be attentive to any information or additional directions provided during your flight.
  • Follow the airline’s carry-on restrictions to avoid overcrowding and make sure overhead luggage is secured properly.
  • Make sure any children with you are in approved child safety seats.

Let Our Attorneys Help You

If you or a loved one has suffered an airline injury, contact our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys. At Hogan Frick, we fight for your rights, while providing aggressive legal representation to assist you in getting compensation for your injuries. We can assist you today with your case.