Back Seat Passengers Should Buckle Up, But They Don’t
Posted on : August 31, 2017
by : Carlos Alvarez Tostado
A common misconception exists that riding in the back seat is safer than the front, so it is not really necessary to buckle up in the back. The fact is that unrestrained passengers in the back pose a serious safety threat not only to themselves but also to other occupants in the car in the event of a high-speed or high-impact car crash. Recent research reveals the alarming number of unbelted back seat riders and the risks they pose.
A survey of seat belt use among almost 1,200 adults nationwide was recently conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The results show that 90% of respondents always wear a seat belt in the front seat, but only 72% always do when riding in the back. Only 57% reported wearing a seat belt when riding in the back of a car service such as Uber, Lyft or a taxicab.
About a quarter of the people who do not always buckle up in the back gave the reason that riding in the back is safer, and a seat belt simply isn’t necessary. To the contrary, research conduct by the IIHS along with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia demonstrated that back seat passengers are eight times more likely to be seriously injured in a car accident when unrestrained.
Unbelted back seat passengers are not only dangers to themselves
In a vehicle collision, an unrestrained back seat passenger can move through the car very forcefully, injuring other occupants. For instance, the passenger may slam into the back of a front row seat, forcing that occupant into the steering wheel or through a windshield. A study conducted by the University of Virginia found that drivers carrying unrestrained rear-seat passengers are twice as likely to suffer fatal injuries than drivers transporting belted back seat riders.
Manufacturers can do more
Another common reason for not using seat belts in the back, given by 13% of the IIHS survey respondents, was that they simply forgot. Although most cars sound an alarm when a front-seat passenger isn’t belted, and technology exists to give the same notification for riders in the back seat, hardly any cars implement such a system. Many safety organizations are urging automakers to install rear-seat seat belt alerts as a standard component in all new models.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in southern California, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Banker’s Hill Law Firm for a consultation at 619-230-0330.