Thanks to technological improvements in front seat safety design and development, the back seat has taken a literal backseat in terms of how likely passengers are to get hurt in a crash.
Studies now show that in the event of a car accident, being in the back seat can lead to more injuries and greater risk of death than riding in the front. Part of the reason for this switch in safest locations is related to improved engineering and standards, and the other to flawed decision-making by riders.
Front Seat Improvements
The concentrated efforts of car makers have made driving less hazardous for people traveling in the front seat than ever before. Therefore, though being in the back seat is not less safe than it was before, it is less safe from a comparative standpoint.
Why has the front seat become the preferred place to be in some types of crashes? In the past few decades, auto manufacturers have increasingly focused on making the front seat safer for both drivers and passengers. A prime example is the front airbag, which has been mandatory on all new vehicles since 1998. Additionally, other front seat improvements include new designs and materials that improve the chances of people sustaining less severe physical harm during collisions.
Back Seaters Fail to Buckle Up
A secondary reason the front seat is now considered safer for passengers involved in a car crash is lack of seat belt use among riders. More than 90 percent of people report that they use seat belts when they travel in the front of the car. In contrast, about 75 percent of people turn to rear seat belts to buckle up. These figures may dip even farther down for riders who use Lyft, Uber, or conventional taxi services, as paying riders tend to buckle up even less frequently.
Improving Safety in the Back Seat
At this point, safety organizations and car insurance providers are recommending that a move be made to implement methods to make back seats safer. This comes with the understanding that back seat passengers, unlike front seat passengers, can be any size or age. Consequently, innovating ways to keep anyone safe will be critical.
Safety engineers may want to begin by evaluating the most common types of trauma suffered by back seat car accident victims, including injuries to the head or chest. Additionally, safety advocates suggest that introducing crash tensioners into rear seat belt design could make an immediate difference in the number of children and adults hurt or killed on highways. Finally, warning lights for rear seat belt use could also play a positive role in encouraging everyone to use seat belt restraints regardless of where they sit.
Bucks County Car Accident Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Help Victims of Crashes Recover Damages
If you or someone you care about required medical attention after a crash caused by another driver’s negligence or recklessness, you are urged to contact the Bucks County car accident lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. for advice. Schedule a free consultation at our Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, or Pinehurst, North Carolina office by calling 888-999-1962 or complete an online contact form.