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Which Is Safer in a Car Crash: Front or Back Seat?

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,How many times have when you were younger did you or your siblings yell, “shotgun” when jumping into the car with one of your parents. There was always that argument over who was going to get to ride in the front seat, getting full access to the car radio. Over the years, however, auto safety recommendations have advised that children should remain in the back seat until they are at least 12 years of age in order to remain safe in the event of a car accident.

But a new investigation by Consumer Reports reveals that riding shotgun just may be safer than riding in the backseat. The reason for this, the investigation found, is that there has been a lot of focus on making the front seat safer, which has cut down dramatically the number of fatalities and injuries which occur during vehicle wrecks. However, this has left rear seat safety technology lagging. In fact, in vehicles which were manufactured after 2006, a person sitting in the rear seat has almost a 50 percent more chance of getting killed in a vehicle crash than a person sitting in the front passenger seat. This percent holds true even after the factors such as gender and age are considered.

The investigation found that there are safety features which have been implemented for front seat occupants that can and should also be added for back seat occupants. For example, seat belts installed in the front seat have belt pretensioners which stop any excess slack in a seat belt during a crash. Front seat belts also have load limiters. This allows the belt to automatically ease out when it has too much tension, allowing the body to absorb any shock, thereby reducing the risk of broken bones. Seat belts in the back do not have these options.

Another simple suggestion is to have the fasten seat belt signal go off if rear belts are not being used, just as it does now for front seat occupants.

The investigation found that there is currently research being conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop rear airbags that would deploy from either the roof of the vehicle or the front seat. Currently, most vehicles that do have rear airbags only have them on installed on the sides.

Despite the results of the investigation, Consumer Reports did stress that their organization still recommends that any child under the age of 13 sit in the back seat.

If you have been injured in a car crash, contact an experienced Lake County injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for any pain and loss you have suffered as a result of your injuries.

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