As automobile technology advances, newer safety equipment has targeted front seat drivers. Features such as air bags for drivers and passengers and cars that will not start unless front seat belts are engaged can protect the front seat passengers. However, passengers in the back seat may have little else than their seat belts to keep them safe in the event of a wreck.
For children under the age of 12, the back seat is still safer, according to a report by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Their data showed that this age group experienced 24 percent of fatalities caused by auto wrecks, even though they represent 56 percent of back seat passengers. Adults ages 55 and up had a greater chance of suffering fatal injuries in car accidents when seated in the back.
Back Seat Passengers Avoid Safety Belts
Many passengers believe that the back seat is safer and therefore, do not buckle up. When people are squeezed into the back, they can buckle two people under one belt, or not bother using them at all. Statistics showed that only 70 percent of rear seat occupants between the ages of 20 to 54 were using their seat belts.
Researchers for the IIHS also studied back seat passenger injuries and reported that if not buckled in, rear seat riders can crash into the back of the front seats. This could cause drivers to smash into steering wheels and airbags. Additional data showed that Uber and Lyft back seat passengers were less likely to use their seat belts. In 2015, over 1,000 rear seat passengers that were not wearing seat belts suffered fatal injuries in car wrecks.
Calling Out Auto Manufacturers
Auto companies have invested much effort and funds into advancing front passenger safety, and some feel that the time has arrived to move on to the back seat. An analyst with the business analytics company, IHS Markit, feels that the auto industry is focused on technology that will avoid accidents. Although this is a worthy area for research and development, back seat safety measures are also very important. In the meantime, back seat passengers should not think that they are in a safe zone. Buckling up is still the safer bet.
Back Seat Passenger Injury Claims
In other types of personal injury cases, plaintiffs need to show that a driver was liable and what the damages are. When two cars are involved, there may be clear evidence that one driver was at fault. Every claim is different though, since there may be extenuating circumstances. It is also possible that more than one driver caused the accident.
Medical needs should be attended to first and once these are taken care of, the passenger can obtain insurance information, police reports, and gather evidence by taking photos and speaking with witnesses. From here, steps toward pursuing a personal injury claim can be undertaken.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Passengers Injured in Wrecks
Car accidents can be traumatic, but help is available. If you or someone you know was involved in a car accident, contact our Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for legal guidance today. Call 803-929-3600, 866-881-8623, or complete an online form for a free case evaluation.
We represent clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.