The fear of flying is one of the most common phobias people have and though the chances of being involved in a plane crash are quite slim (one in 11 million, in fact), recent aircraft accidents have done little to ease the fear; over the last two months, a US Airways flight was forced to land in the Hudson River after striking a flock of birds (fortunately there were only minor injuries) and a commuter plane crashed in Buffalo, New York, tragically killing all 49 passengers aboard and one person on the ground. And while aviation, safety innovations over recent decades (such as the arc fault breaker designed to detect faulty wiring) have made commercial airplanes safer than ever, millions are still scared to fly. Here are the top safety tips to keep in mind when flying to help ease the fear.

Fly Nonstop When Possible
Since airplane accidents are more likely to occur during a takeoff or landing, flying nonstop will reduce the number of times you're exposed to those stages of flight, thus decreasing your chances of being involved in an accident.

Fly Larger Aircraft
Typically, the larger the airplane, the safer it is and the more strict safety certifications are for it.

Listen to the Flight Information
The information provided during the in-flight safety demonstration may seem repetitious and even dull but it will refresh for you the safety procedures, what to do in the event of an emergency, and where all the exits are located.

Fasten Your Seat Belt
One of the safest things you can do is also one of the simplest: keep your seat belt fastened at all times while seated in case the plane hits unexpected turbulence.

Avoid Too Much Alcohol
Since the air in the cabin is pressurized, alcohol can have a greater, more enhanced effect on you than normal so if you do drink, do so in moderation.

Follow Instructions
In the highly unlikely event that you are involved in an emergency situation, follow the directions of the flight crew exactly to ensure your safety.