According to recent research, Americans do not fully understand the danger of not using a seatbelt in the back seat of a car or truck. Not only are unrestrained back seat passengers more likely to get ejected during a crash, they can potentially become human missiles, hurling forward and injuring the driver and front-row passenger. If current seatbelt use data is correct, more should be done to mandate back seat seatbelt use and raise awareness about the importance of restraints for every passenger.
When a car driving 35 miles per hour is hit from behind, an unrestrained adult in the back seat can slam into the driver’s seat, pressing the driver into the steering wheel and airbag with dangerous force. During a crash, un-belted passengers are more likely to be ejected. Back seat passengers are three times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in a crash if they are not wearing seatbelts.
Statistics on Back Seat Seatbelt Use
Nearly half of all car accident fatalities involve passengers not wearing seatbelts. Yet, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), only 72 percent of adults polled said they use seatbelts in the back seat, compared to 91 percent who use them when seated up front. Even fewer passengers buckle up in the back seats of hired cars including taxis, limousines, and Ubers. When asked why they choose to not buckle up in the back seat of hired cars, respondents said they either did not know why or said they were traveling a short distance.
Federal and state laws regarding child restraints are well-known and strictly-enforced. When it comes to adults, the laws are not quite as effective. Twenty-one states do not have laws mandating adult restraint use in the rear seats. New Jersey does not allow police to pull over cars because they have unrestrained passengers in the back seat. Police can only issue seatbelt tickets if the car is pulled over for another violation. More than half of the IIHS survey participants said they would buckle up in the back seat if the law required it.
Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Protect Victims Injured by Unrestrained Passengers
Drivers and passengers who choose not to buckle up are a danger to themselves and others during a crash. More needs to be done to raise public awareness about the risks of un-belted back seat passengers. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in any type of car accident, Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law will determine if you have a valid claim for compensation for your injuries. We carefully review all the circumstances surrounding your accident and find out if another driver or passenger’s negligence caused your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call 856-414-0010 or contact us online today. With offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, we serve clients from the surrounding areas.