One of the biggest priorities for vehicle manufacturers is safety. Until recently, most of the focus has been on those sitting in the front of the vehicle. Few improvements have been made to protect those sitting in the backseat, perhaps because it is the two front seats that are most regularly occupied.
Researchers are now beginning to take a closer look at backseat passenger safety. What has been found is that the backseat may not be as safe as the front, but it largely depends on who is occupying it. The type of the crash, the age of the passenger and the size of the passenger all play a role in the types of injuries that are sustained.
The Type of Collision
Like any position in the car, someone in a backseat is more at risk during certain types of collisions. Frontal impacts are more dangerous for people older than 50. Side impacts and rollovers were a particular danger to backseat passengers, no matter their age. Side airbags reduce this risk.
One may think that rear-end collisions are the most dangerous for those seated in the back, but these impacts tend to be at low speeds, resulting in minor injuries. Seat belts keep passengers in the vehicle and prevent them from bouncing, but because there aren’t airbags in the backseat, neck and spine injuries tend to happen more often to these passengers.
Size of Vehicle
The size of the vehicle also matters. Many smaller cars, especially those in the base level category, lack safety features. Vehicle manufacturers are beginning to take this into consideration, installing more safety features than every before. Cars like the Honda Fit and Hyundai Accent have features such as side curtain airbags to protect all passengers in the vehicle.
SUVs may be thought to be safer for backseat passengers, but they may not be. A recent study by Transport Canada showed that children are as likely to experience injury in the second row as the third row when the crash comes from the front. Occupants who are seated in the second row and those in the third row are particularly susceptible to injury in rear-end collisions.
Adults who buckle up and children who are properly restrained in child safety seats are at the least risk of injury, but injuries do still occur. For now, the safest place in the vehicle is in the front seat. Car makers are aware of this and are consistently trying to come up with ways to protect both children and adults who ride in the back.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Charlotte, reach out to our team of experienced car accident attorneys. We will review the circumstances of your accident and advise you of your legal options. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about the types of compensation you may be entitled to.