What is the best way to survive in a free-falling elevator?

If possible, lie flat on the floor.


Since the “jump on impact” myth was always moronic (seriously?), the “laying flat on the floor” theory is meant to address the issue of spreading the force of impact over as much body surface as possible. This method isn’t without its issues of course:

  1. Your organs and tissue would take the brunt of the impact and even at relatively low speeds, this is still probably fatal.
  2. What’s stopping the floor of the elevator from becoming shards of metal, cable, plastic, etc… and impaling you or cutting you to shreds.
  3. You pretty much have to wait for the elevator car to reach terminal velocity before you can effectively lie on the floor (the human body can reach a terminal velocity from anywhere between 122-200mph depending on position). So let’s say that the elevator is high enough to go beyond its normal travel speed and reach its terminal velocity and let’s say that terminal velocity is around 100mph. You’re still going from 100mph to 0mph instantly. You’re still probably gonna smoosh.

What is the best way to survive in a free falling elevator

Reason For Asking:

Just curious – I was in a Target elevator and it seemed a little rickety. It was only one floor though. I think I’d be fine.

Source: Live Science: Survive Elevator Free Fall
Source: How Stuff Works: Survive Elevator Free Fall
Source: Wiki: Terminal Velocity