A key safety message for passengers in the AO-2008-070 final report is the importance of wearing seat belts when seated in flight, even when the seat-belt sign is not illuminated. As stated in the report:
At least 60 of the aircraft's passengers were seated without their seat belts fastened at the time of the first pitch-down. Consistent with previous in-flight upset accidents, the injury rate, and injury severity, was substantially greater for those who were not seated or seated without their seat belts fastened.
Further information on the wearing of seat belts and other advice for minimising injury risk during turbulence and other in-flight upsets is also available in the ATSB Aviation Safety Bulletin titled Staying safe against turbulence available at ATSB website.
Public safety advice about the importance of wearing seat belts on aircraft has also been provided by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
A video showing the effects of not wearing seat belts during a simulated in-flight upset is available on the US Federal Aviation Administration website. The video simulates a turbulence event, whereas the in-flight upset on 7 October 2008 near Learmonth, Western Australia was due to pitch-down commands from the aircraft's flight control system.
Regardless of why an upset occurs, the message is the same: Wearing a seat belt during all phases of a flight, and having the seat belt fastened low and firm, will significantly minimise the risk of injury in the unlikely event of an in-flight upset.