Backseat Passenger InjuriesJanuary 14, 2020
Passenger safety in cars has vastly improved over the past few decades and front seat passenger fatalities involved in head-on collisions have seen a substantial decrease. But what about passengers in rear seats? A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that backseat passengers are not as protected for a car accident in comparison to those in the front.
IIHS Study on Injuries
Though cars are generally safe, front seat passengers have benefited the most from improved features. Features like advanced restraint systems and airbag ignitors have provided more safety for front seat passengers. The IIHS study found that even though adults and children over the age of nine are wearing their seat belts in the backseat, they are still suffering injuries at a higher rate than those in the front. When observing 117 crashes from two national databases where passengers in the rear were killed or suffered a serious injury, the majority of injuries were to the chest.
Front Seat Passengers Have Better Protection
The study does not suggest that backseat passengers are not safe while using their seat belts, but finds that front seat passengers are better protected with more advanced safety equipment. Back seat belts normally do not have force limiters like front seat belts. While using case records, the IIHS found that most of the chest injuries occurred from the seat belt. Force limiters inflate and slightly loosen upon impact to prevent injuries to the upper body.
Head injuries are another concern. The IIHS study found that fatalities or serious injuries to backseat passengers were caused by impacts to the head. The injuries or fatalities occurred when the head was not properly secured and hits the interior of the vehicle. Front seat belts have advanced crash tensioners as well, which secures the body when a collision is detected. Combined with advanced frontal airbags and side curtain airbags, front passengers are better protected from head injuries.
Safety Equipment for Backseat Passengers
The purpose of the IIHS study is to bring a new crash test for front and rear seat passengers. Perhaps it will push car manufacturers to implement similar safety equipment to rear seat occupants. IIHS has no direct plan but wants to influence car manufacturers in the right direction. Though a few manufacturers do equip cars with similar frontal features, such as Ford or Mercedes Benz, the IIHS is confident that all manufacturers will find a better solution for rear seat passengers.
West Chester Car Accident Lawyers at The Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Help Injured Car Accident Victims
If you or someone you know was in a car accident and suffered injuries, you may be eligible for compensation. Car manufacturers provide the safest vehicles possible, but all cars are vulnerable to car accidents. Our skilled West Chester car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello will protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 610-892-4940 for a free consultation. Located in Media Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, West Chester, and throughout Pennsylvania.