The safety of drivers and the passengers sitting in the front seat of vehicles has considerably improved in recent years. The death rate for car accidents has reduced drastically since the advancement of safety features like electronic stability control, structural improvements, side airbags, and seatbelts that instantly grips one’s body instantly.
Unfortunately, the backseat has not seen many enhancements to improve the safety of passengers. In their recent study of car collisions, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that backseat passengers are more likely to be fatally injured or killed than front-seat passengers and drivers.
“Many automobile companies concentrate more efforts in bringing out car models with enhancement tailored to protect passengers at the front seat without paying much heed to those at the back,” says personal injury lawyer Bill Umansky. One of the primary reasons for severe injuries for the passengers sitting at the back of the vehicle is a difference in seat belt use. If you are in the backseat of a car, you risk catastrophic injuries to delicate parts of your body due to a lack of awareness and minimal safety equipment.
Still, the same backseat is said to be the safest position for children under 13. IIHS study found that as the age of the backseat passenger increases, so does their risk of mortality in a car accident.
Some Common Backseat Injuries
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded that most injuries to passengers in the backseat happened because the victims were not buckled up. The agency came to this conclusion in a widely referenced research on the impact of crashes on backseat passengers.
According to collision data gathered for the study, most accident victims sitting in the back passenger seat sustained a chest injury during an accident. The head is also the second most delicate part of the body that suffers from backseat injury.
Both injuries occur in over half of the fatal car crashes examined. Other severe backseat injuries suffered by passengers include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Facial laceration
- Broken bone
- Spinal cord damage
- Neck injury
- Severe cuts and bruising
Factors that Can Lead to Backseat Injuries
Passengers sitting in the back seat are more prone to danger than those in the front seat for various reasons. Unfortunately, the auto industry is not doing much to protect backseat passengers.
Here are some of the factors that can contribute to the fatalities of backseat passengers:
#1. Backseat Passengers Rarely Put on their Seatbelt
Backseat passengers seldom put on their seatbelts. Less than 72 percent of passengers in the backseat utilize their seat belts, compared to 94 percent in the front. It is not known why passengers in the backseat seldom put on their seatbelts, but according to an IIHS research engineer, the back seat was the safest location to ride in a car. Front seats have become significantly safer as a result of upgrades.
#2. Seatbelts in the Back are Frequently Devoid of Force-limiting Equipment.
Though most new automobiles have three-point seat belts for all backseats, they may lack essential safety technology. Crash sensors are built into front-row seat belts, causing them to grip a person’s body tightly in an accident. The force-limiting equipment enables a portion of the fabric to the coil, lowering the belt’s stress on the body. These features effectively reduce injuries, but they are not frequently available for back seat passengers, putting them at greater risk of severe injuries in a collision.
#3. A Fictitious Sensation of Safety
Passengers sitting at the back are more prone to lay flat, be overcrowded, or even sit on each other’s laps because they have the wrong notion that they are safer in the back seats. And because they feel they are further away from the dashboard and windshield, backseat passengers may believe they are safer in the event of an accident.
However, depending on the angle of the crash, the power of impact can throw unbuckled people and other objects back and forth in the event of an accident. Individuals not properly seated or wearing seat belts risk colliding with the seat in front of them, the vehicle’s side interior, or other passengers.
How To Be Safe While At The Backseat
Teens and babies indeed occupy the backseat more often than most adults but safety should be the primary concern for all passengers seated at the back. When riding in the backseat, you can take some precautions to protect yourself and avoid injury:
#1. Always Wear Your Seatbelt
One can not overemphasize the necessity of wearing a seatbelt. If you’re in an accident and your car doesn’t have force-limiting seat belts in the back, any seatbelt can suffice than having none.
#2. Let Your Spot Be in the Middle
If the car has no three-point seat belt, the back seat’s middle position is the safest. If shoulder and lap belts are available, you might want to consider sitting in the outside seats.
#3. Store Loose Objects
In a severe collision, objects like plastics, cans, and keys, often left on the floor, passenger seat, or the console between the driver and front seat, can become fatal. Before the vehicle starts moving, put all loose objects in the trunk, behind the seat pockets or glove compartment, and fasten them.
While researchers, the auto industry, car manufacturers, and safety regulators try to create backseat safety technology that will aid all car occupants, it is better to take precautions for the time being. But suppose you or a loved one is a passenger in a backseat accident. In that case, you can contact a personal injury attorney to help you recover your lost wages, past and present medical bills, damages, and your pain and suffering. The compensation you will receive depends solely on how severe your injuries are.
I am Daisy Bell and a pro-level blogger with years of experience in writing for multiple industries. I have extensive knowledge of Food, Fitness, Healthcare, business, fashion, and many other popular niches. I have post graduated in arts and have keen interest in traveling.