By now, we all know the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt when riding in a vehicle. But for some reason, many adults riding in the back seat do not feel they need to strap on their seatbelt. A new study from the IIHS finds that to be very far from true. Unbelted rear passengers can become human missiles – injuring themselves and the other passengers, even those wearing seatbelts.
Testing by the IIHS found that a driver who has an unbelted passenger sitting behind them is twice as likely to die in the event of a wreck, even if wearing a seatbelt. When traveling at just 35 mph, the unbelted rear passenger will slam into the driver with a force strong enough to deflate the airbag.
The IIHS survey also found only 72% of the 1,172 respondents said they always use a belt in the back seat, compared to 91% who said they always use one when seated in front. Those aged 35- to 54 were the least likely group to report buckling up in the back seat. Only 66% of this group reported ‘always’ bucking up in the back seat compared to 73% of adults 18 to 34.
The report also showed that people are least likely to belt up in the back when they are taking a short-distance ride in a hailed car — like an Uber or taxi. Four out of 5 adults surveyed say short trips or traveling by taxi or ride-hailing service are times they don’t bother to use a belt.
AAA reminds passengers to always wear a seatbelt – no matter the distance traveled or the position you are in in the vehicle. Motorists, always check to ensure all of your passengers are belted before taking off – for their safety and yours.