Everyone involved in a car crash faces the risks of severe injuries. The driver and front-seat passenger appear to be in the greatest danger due to perceptions about hitting the windshield or dashboard. While those dangers exist, backseat passengers might find themselves hurt worse in a collision on a West Virginia highway.
Front vs. back: safety issues to consider
Differences exist between front and backseat safety, and these variances might place the rear seats in a bad position during a motor vehicle accident. The front driver and passenger seats come with added protections backseat passengers lack. For example, front airbags could reduce a driver and front-seat passengers impact. Backseat passengers may find themselves without the added protection of airbags, leaving them in a possibly worse position in a head-on crash.
Front-seat seat belts might come with a unique design intended to reduce sternum injuries. A driver faces potentially severe injuries when hitting the steering wheel, so the added support makes sense. Unfortunately, backseat passengers might discover their seat belts lack the added durability when the restraints don’t work as effectively in a collision.
Backseat passengers and injuries
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released alarming figures about backseat passenger injuries. A review of 117 crashes revealed chest injuries was the most common harm inflicted, with head injuries following. The report noted the 117 crashes involved backseat passengers who wore a seat belt and suggested that 37 chest-related injuries were survivable.
Better seat belt design could have an overall positive effect on passenger safety. Sadly, many passengers don’t wear seat belts, increasing the dangers. Defective seat belts might give passengers a false feeling of confidence, as they won’t know the seat belts won’t work properly until it is too late.