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The reasons for fastening seat belts and closing tray tables are obvious. But what danger poses having a reclined seat?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

There is an article regarding this subject in AirSpace Magazine. The basic reason is safety in case of a crash or other impact:

  1. Seat in the upright position is locked and doesn't present an issue if there is an impact
  2. During the FAA research back in 1988 it was found that bracing in the upright position is safer then in reclined.
  3. Reclined seats make it more difficult to evacuate passengers from rows immediately following you.

So during the most dangerous times in flight (take-off and landing) it is required from you be a little safety minded.

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Another point to mention is hat you should not stetch your legs during stat and landing straight in a way that the bottom of your feet touch the wall in front of you. Same goes for driving: Do not stretch your arms fully when holding the steering wheel. In case of an impact you would break both arms/legs since they cannot carry the weight of your body moving forward. –  uncovery Apr 24 '13 at 4:23
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