While today’s vehicles are safer than ever thanks to advances in auto safety technology, backseat passengers can also suffer severe or fatal injuries. If you or someone you know was seriously injured in a car accident while riding in the back seat, you are urged to contact an experienced lawyer.
Backseat passengers can suffer injuries just as severe, if not more so, than the driver and the front-seat passenger. Common backseat car accident injuries include the following:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Eye injuries
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Bruised or broken ribs
- Herniated discs
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Punctured lungs and other internal organ damage
Dangers of Riding in the Back Seat
The main reason backseat passengers are at risk for severe and potentially fatal injuries is that they are less likely to wear their seat belts. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), only 72 percent of backseat passengers wear seat belts, compared to over 90 percent of front-seat passengers.
The following are additional factors that make the back seat dangerous:
- Belief that the back seat is safer. There is an outdated belief that the further a passenger is from the windshield, the safer they are in the event of an accident. In addition, people are more likely to cram more passengers in the back seat than there are seat belts or sit on each other’s lap. They are also more likely to lie down and take a nap.
- Less airbag protection. Multiple airbags generally protect front-seat passengers in a collision. However, it may not have backseat airbags depending on the vehicle’s make, model, and year. Some newer cars may have side airbags, but these provide only limited protection.
- Limited safety technology in older vehicles. In addition to the lack of backseat airbags, older cars may not be equipped with shoulder belts in the back seat. Lap and shoulder belts can reduce the risk of severe injuries and fatalities by over 50 percent for backseat passengers.
- Rideshare service customers are less likely to wear a seat belt. While rideshare services like Uber and Lyft continue to be prevalent modes of transportation, customers do not always wear a seat belt when riding in the back seat. Studies have shown that four out of five ridesharing passengers do not use a seat belt.
How Do I Stay Safe When Riding in the Back Seat?
The most effective step to avoid a serious injury while sitting in the back seat is to wear a seat belt. The following are additional steps you can take to reduce the risk of injuries when riding in the back seat:
- Sit in the middle seat. Unless the vehicle is older and is not equipped with a shoulder belt, the middle seat is typically the safest place to sit.
- Stay in your seat. Do not switch places with another passenger, sit on someone’s lap, or squeeze too many people in the back seat since there will not be enough seat belts for all passengers.
- Secure objects. Any hard or sharp objects that are loose can cause serious injuries in the event of a collision.
Our Experienced Springfield Car Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Represent Injured Backseat Passengers
If you were injured in a car accident while riding in the back seat, contact our Springfield car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law. To schedule a free consultation, call 912-754-6003 or contact us online. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients in Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.