Motor vehicle safety means a lot not only to drivers but to passengers along for the ride. Of course, wearing seatbelts and avoiding risky behaviors can keep everyone in the vehicle safe. However, your seating choice in the car might also affect whether you are injured in a collision.
Backseat passengers are at greater risk
One would think that the driver and front-seat passenger in a vehicle are at highest risk. Surprisingly, those in the front might not be in the most dangerous position. A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in 2019 determined that passengers in backseats may be at greater risk.
Backseat passengers lack protection from airbags and seatbelts to the degree that front-seat drivers and passengers have those protections. Rear-seat seatbelt design may not be as advanced, and passenger-side airbags come with limitations. In addition, rear-seat passengers have no frontal airbags to protect them and there generally are no tensioners in rear-seat seatbelts to keep the passenger’s body in place The study concluded that manufacturers have put a lot of work into improving protection for drivers and front-seat passengers, but less into rear-seat passenger safety. The study also showed that chest injuries were the most common in collisions involving rear-seat passengers because of the way the rear-seat seatbelts work. Head injuries were the second most common injury.
What to do if you are a rear-seat passenger injured in a motor vehicle collision
In time, manufacturers may develop new ways to improve backseat passenger safety. If you are injured in a motor vehicle collision due the negligence of another driver, or due to a defect in the vehicle, an experienced attorney can assist you in seeking compensation for your injuries.