Passengers Risk Safety of Themselves & Others when Failing to Use a Seat Belt
Posted on : December 27, 2017
by : Carlos Alvarez Tostado
Most of us have been trained from a young age to wear a seat belt whenever we get in a car. However, some of us forgo this safety measure, often because we don’t believe they’re effective in preventing injuries, or because they’re uncomfortable. Studies have found that passengers riding in the back seat are more likely to skip their seat belt than those seated in the front. Contrary to popular belief, back seat passengers bear a substantial risk of being severely injured or killed should a crash occur while they’re not buckled in.
Many believe they’re safe from injury when riding in the back
There is a persistent myth that back seat passengers are in a safer position than those riding in the front seat. In a survey conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, researchers found that, while 90% of participants reported wearing a seatbelt every time they sat in the front seat as a passenger, only 72% wore a seat belt every time they rode in the back seat. Of those who did not wear a seat belt each time they sat in the back, 25% stated that they believed sitting in the back seat was safer than sitting in the front, and 22% said that they found seat belts uncomfortable or difficult to use.
Seat belts critical for all passengers
This belief that seat belts aren’t needed when in the rear seat simply isn’t true. Research has found that rear-seat passengers involved in a car crash while not wearing a seat belt were eight times more likely to be seriously injured than someone who was buckled in. Front-seat occupants are also at greater risk when rear-seat passengers aren’t buckled in. Drivers have been found to be twice as likely to be fatally injured in a crash when their rear-seat passenger wasn’t buckled in.
Local crashes prove danger of failing to wear a seat belt
Just this summer, multiple young people were fatally injured in San Diego area crashes where they failed to wear seat belts. In a rollover accident involving a 19-year-old driver, both a five-year-old and 16-year old who were not restrained were thrown from the vehicle and killed, while the driver and two additional, restrained passengers survived the crash. In a more recent accident, the driver of a car carrying four people aged 18, 15, 20 and 22 lost control of the vehicle and went over a guard railing along I-15. The three youngest occupants of the car, all of whom weren’t wearing seat belts, died in the crash.
We can’t control the actions of negligent drivers, but we can make ourselves safer by completing the simple task of buckling up when we get in the car. If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash in Southern California, contact the determined and professional San Diego personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at the Banker’s Hill Law Firm for a consultation, at 619-230-0330.