The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety Wants Federal Regulators to Amend Vehicle Safety Standards for Backseat Seatbelts

There have long been laws about wearing seatbelts for those in the front seat, including requirements for auto manufacturers to install notifications for the driver if their passenger is not using their seatbelt – but there are no similar requirements in the backseat. Should there be? According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, there definitely should.

Keep reading to get the facts. If you have been involved in a car accident in which you did not know the backseat passenger was not wearing a seatbelt, then we recommend you contact a personal injury attorney right away. You can call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.

Research Shows That Consumers Want the Reminders

According to a study from the IIHS, consumers want reminders and notifications when someone in the backseat does not have their seatbelt on. This seems like a simple problem to fix, but one researcher claims that it is actually much more complicated than most people may think.

Why Is It So Complicated?

It may seem simple but the truth is that determining if there are unbelted passengers in the backseat is easier said than done, according to those who build these safety systems. For example, a toddler could be properly secured in a child seat but trigger a false alarm. For this reason, audible alerts are being put on the backburner.

Instead, safety advocates are encouraging a display-based system that does not provide false, loud warnings, but gives the driver the chance to glance at their dash and see if belts are buckled. They do want audible warnings in one situation: When a backseat seatbelt is unfastened while the vehicle is moving. They note that this is a situation in which false alarms are unlikely.

Current Requirements for the Front Seat

The standards that currently exist only apply to the person in the driver’s seat. It requires that if they are not wearing a seatbelt, there is an intermittent warning sound and a flashing warning light or text alert that goes on for at least 60 seconds. These warnings are triggered when a person turns on the ignition but their belt is not buckled. Of course, some vehicles have similar options for passenger seats too.

Pets, Purses, and Other Complications

The sensors work by determining if there is something that weighs over a certain amount on a seat. For owners of larger dogs, their dogs could set off the alarm. If a person is moving and has many boxes in their backseat, that could set off the alarm too.