New crash tests clearly highlight the importance of rear seat belts in preventing serious personal injuries in car accidents. The results of these tests are likely to spur efforts towards keeping back seat passengers safe in auto accidents.
Safety experts at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released the results of new tests specifically focused on the role of seatbelts in preventing personal injuries to passengers riding in the back. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was specifically looking at whether seatbelt technologies that have been shown to have excellent personal injury protection capabilities for front seat passengers and drivers, can also perform equally well in protecting rear seat passengers. The crash tests resulted in a new set of ratings for rear seatbelts, and this is the first time that ratings for rear seat belts have been released in the US.
These ratings will guide manufacturers as they design better automobiles that protect not just motorists and front seat passengers, but also passengers at risk at the back. The push towards increasing safety for back seat passengers received a further boost this year with Uber announcing that its app will soon require back seat passengers to buckle in as soon as they get in the car.
For years, back seat passengers have been at risk of serious injuries in car accidents. Several studies have shown that backseat passengers are much less likely to buckle compared to drivers and front seat passengers. This leads to a dangerous scenario in which back seat passenger occupants are at risk of personal injury or even wrongful death if they are unrestrained by seatbelts. If you are unbuckled, you are at risk of being ejected from the vehicle in the event of an auto accident. Rear seat passengers often do not realize that a car accident does not have to occur at high speeds for ejection to occur. Even an auto accident at moderate speeds can result in passengers being ejected from the vehicle and suffering serious or even fatal personal injuries.
Additionally, back seat passengers who are unrestrained may find themselves being thrown about the interior of the vehicle, possibly sustaining body trauma for head injuries. Passengers who are not buckled in are also a serious injury threat to front seat passengers and motorists in the event of an auto accident. A passenger can turn into a projectile upon impact, and this may actually cause personal injury to the passenger in the front or the motorist during an auto accident. Studies have shown that a motorist’s risk of suffering fatal injuries increases by two and a half times if there is an unrestrained backseat passenger in the car.
This much is clear – wearing a back seat does not only help protect you against personal injuries in the event of a car accident, but can also help protect the motorist and front seat passenger.
The Atlanta car crash attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages. You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages. Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.