In today’s Straight Dope Classic http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a4_001.html , Cecil says, "Now the recorders are put in the tail section so that, assuming your typical crashing plane goes in nose first, the forward part of the airframe absorbs most of the impact.
“Sitting back there won’t help you, though. When you mix stuff in the Cuisinart, you think it matters which end of the banana went in last?”
Actually, Popular Mechanics examined 36 years’ worth of NTSB crash reports and reached the conclusion that it is safer in the back of the plane.
In First/Business Class, your overall odds of survival are 49%. Moving to the sections ahead of and over the wing, your odds go up to 56%. The rear cabin of the plane has an overall survival rate of 69%.
I want my seat next to the flight data recorder.