FOR anyone who works above ground level, getting the lift is as mundane a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth… but what would you do if you found yourself plummeting down a shaft in a free-falling lift?
Despite it being a very unlikely scenario, there are a number ways you can try to survive if you ever do find yourself in this horrifying situation.
Getty – Contributor What do you do if you’re trapped in a falling lift? Here are your three options
Cushion the impact
If you’re travelling with luggage (or anything big and bulky) the best thing to do is lay or stand on top of it.
Whether it’s a suitcase, handbag, briefcase or canteen trolley, make sure you get on top of it to cushion the blow.
That’s because it’s possible that the items you’re on top of can break the force of impact and act like a crumple zone in a car.
Lay or stand on any luggage or other materials you have to soften the blow… but there’s no guarantee that this will be enough to save you
Getty – Contributor Thankfully, the chances of ever being trapped in a lift are very slim
An urban legend suggests that if you jump at the right time, you can save yourself from death in a falling lift.
But unfortunately, the laws of physics – more specifically, the laws of relative motion – aren’t so optimistic.
Getty – Contributor Some say jumping can save your life in a falling lift, but this is just an urban legend
An average-sized lift falling 20 stories would reach speeds of over 94mph before hitting the ground, whereas the speed of a human jump is about 3mph.
The maths isn’t pretty: your body would still be travelling at 91mph at the point of impact, so it’s very unlikely you’d survive the fall.
It would also be incredibly hard to push off the floor and jump in the first place if the lift was travelling that fast.
Jumping is thought to be another way to save yourself
Lay flat on floor
The best way to survive a falling lift is to lay flat on the elevator floor with your arms and legs spread out in a starfish shape.
This means you distribute the force of impact across your entire body and there is less chance of serious injury to one area.
You need to use the part of your body with the most fat on to cushion the blow, and try to protect your head and neck.
However, experts warn that it’s important to be aware of any shrapnel or debris which may come loose and hit you as you land.
The best way to survive a falling lift is to lay flat on the elevator floor with your arms and legs spread out
Getty – Contributor It’s the stuff of nightmares, but laying flat is likely to be your best bet if you’re ever trapped in a falling lift