Fact or Myth: Is the Rear Seat Really the Safest Place in a Car?

It has long been an accepted fact that the backseat of a car is the safest part of the car. However, recent research shows that this may not be the case any longer. According to a report published in The New York Times, advances in seatbelts have resulted in front-seat occupants now being the safer passengers. Keep reading to learn more and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 if you require a free legal consultation from an experienced personal injury attorney.

The Risk of Injuries and Fatalities with Seatbelts in the Front and Back Seats

The best seatbelts to prevent serious injury or death are those that get tighter when sensors note that there is an imminent crash. However, those seatbelts can become looser if the occupant presses against the seatbelt so hard that the belt may then cause injury.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, if seatbelts in the backseat do not have this technology then it is safer for certain passengers, specifically those who are older than 55 years old, to sit in the front seat. This is because, according to research, most backseats do not have load limiters. This means that they are not capable of loosening up during a crash.

If the accident is a frontal crash, the belt in the backseat could result in injury to the spinal cord, chest, or abdomen – this is according to a new study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety along with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The researchers involved in this study looked at frontal accidents that caused fatalities or serious injuries for back seat passengers between the ages of 6 and 92 in 117 different accidents.

The results pointed to evidence that there is serious seatbelt force on the chest of anyone occupying any seat of any age. That said, since rear seatbelts do not have load limiters or pre-tensioners that can tighten during an accident, they were shown to be less safe despite the fact that they passed federal safety standards.

Researchers Say Changes Need to Be Made

The researchers are asking for serious improvements to the safety standards to ensure that the backseats are as safe or safer than the front seat. They point to the fact that many people put their most vulnerable passengers in the backseats – such as the elderly – and in fact they are putting them in greater danger. Researchers also point to the fact that an increase in ridesharing has meant an increase in backseat passengers.

If you have been injured in a car accident then we hope you will consult with a personal injury attorney to find out if you have legal recourse to recover damages. Contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now for a free legal consultation.