Ok, that title might be a bit misleading. In point of fact, I can’t actually offer a surefire way to survive an airline crash and neither can any of the posters in this thread about watching the safety presentation.
Some of the posters however – corporate-wage-slave and greg5 to name two – allude to research that suggests passengers who pay attention to the safety instructions might actually increase their odds of survival. The percentage increase is quite possibly infinitesimally small, but interesting nonetheless.
Makes you wonder too, how many people who seem to be paying attention are really only feigning attention out of politeness to the flight attendants. And some are no doubt paying more attention the flight attendant him or herself than the actual content of the presentation.
Either way, it’s an interesting conversation. For my part, I will probably continue to feign interest and take my chances.