There’s danger lurking in a car’s back seat. A report on CBS News is focusing attention on the dangers of riding in a car’s back seat. According to the report, recent improvements in air bags, crumple zones and even seat belts have made the front seat of a car far safer, but there has been limited progress made in protecting those riding in the back seat.
While the back seat is still the safest place for children to ride, the same does not hold true for adults. Back seat adult riders are more likely to receive chest injuries than those riding in the front and they may also be at higher risk of head and neck injuries.
Studies have shown that adults riding in the back seat are less likely to use their seat belts than those riding in the front, and significantly less likely than children. Seat belt use is important for more than one reason but the most critical involves ejection from the vehicle. The CBS report cites a spokesperson from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration as saying, In fatal crashes in 2012, 79 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from the vehicles were killed. Only one percent of the occupants reported to have been using restraints were totally ejected, compared with 30 percent of the unrestrained occupants.
Car manufacturers have moved away from crash worthiness to crash avoidance and are placing even less of an effort on back seat safety. For the safety of back seat passengers, this has to change.