The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety regularly tests crash capability and the safety features of cars. A recent survey completed by IIHS found that up to one-third of respondents don’t wear their seatbelt while riding in the back of a vehicle. The most common reason for not buckling up when riding in the back of a car is that they felt that there was no need.
Many people were under the impression that the rear seat is safer than the front. However, this is not always true. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that 4.3% of fatalities in 2015 involved people who were unrestrained in the rear seat. Unbuckled rear seat travelers are 8 times more likely to be injured or killed in a crash, according to research already completed by IIHS. The rear seat hasn’t become more dangerous, but the front seat has become safer.
Unfortunately, many people who are skipping out on buckling in the back seat are falling prey to this myth and could suffer extensive and severe injuries. 34 states across the country currently allow police officers to ticket a driver if the driver of the front seat passenger is not wearing a seatbelt. However, only 18 states have laws on the books about seat belt use in the back.
Seat belt usage has increased in all seats, according to research completed by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, although injuries associated with the back seat are still a troubling issue.