Turbulence can be frightening, but modern airplanes are built to withstand extreme forces, and there is almost no chance of turbulence bringing down a plane at cruising altitude. Closer to the ground, thunderstorms and wind shear can be more dangerous, but pilots have learned to avoid such hazards, even as technology for predicting severe weather has improved. Though your plane will land safely, experts say it's still important to keep seatbelts fastened in order to avoid injury in severe turbulence.

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