While it has long been commonly believed the backseat was the safer place to ride in a vehicle, new data suggests that is not necessarily the case. A recent study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found back seat safety features are significantly less sophisticated and efficient these days than front seat measures. Between the lack of airbags and underdeveloped seat belt technology for rear seat passengers, it appears you could be in significantly more danger during an accident when riding in the back seat.
Dangers of the Back Seat
So what does this mean for rear seat passengers, especially in a time when ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft are so frequently being used? Currently, the IIHS is developing crash tests in order to determine what technology is needed to mitigate rear seat injuries during accidents, particularly accidents involving frontal collisions.
While most back seat passengers have side curtain airbags and seat belts to help keep them safe, the IIHS says this is not enough. A study that looked at roughly 117 car accidents found many back seat passengers that suffered from severe injuries or even death could have survived or endured less injuries with more advanced safety measures in place. The most common injuries found were chest injuries, which were also considered to be the most dangerous and oftentimes fatal.
Improving Back Seat Safety
Is there a solution in the nearby future? Perhaps. While the IIHS continues to run crash tests and develop protocols, experts have suggested solutions such as airbags that deploy from the ceiling, or seat belts that have technology to limit the force imposed on passengers (which is often times the culprit in many of the chest injuries sustained). One crucial factor needing a safety update is that seat belts in the back seat lack crash tensioners or force limiters, further impairing back seat passengers after a crash.
Car Accident Help
While solutions are currently being hashed out, we know dealing with the ramifications of being in a motor vehicle accident is overwhelming and almost as painful as the accident itself. If you have been involved in a roadway accident and need help determining fault or obtaining the compensation you deserve, we can help. Contact the car accident attorneys at Liggett Law Group for a free case evaluation today.