There is always a risk for injury during a car accident no matter where you are seated inside the vehicle. However, new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), shows that passengers in the backseat of a vehicle are at a higher risk for injury or death than those riding in the front in certain situations.
Front Seat Drivers are at Less Risk for Injury
According to the IIHS, front seat drivers are better protected because of the implementation of new airbag technology, something that backseat passengers do not have. However, front seat passengers are not always protected. Depending on how a passenger is positioned, the front seat may contribute to them sustaining fatal injuries in a car accident. The most dangerous ways to ride as a passenger include:
- Sitting with your feet on the dashboard. Sitting with your feet on the dashboard can cause severe damage to your legs and feet if an accident were to occur. It also lessens the chances of your seatbelt doing what it is supposed to do in the event of a wreck.
- Sitting with your chair reclined. Sitting with the back of your chair reclined causes the seatbelt to shift toward your neck and not where it is supposed to be. In the event of a collision, having a seatbelt near your neck area may cause significant damage.
- Lying down in third row seats. Passengers lying down in third row seats are more likely to be injured in a rear-end wreck because third row seats are not designed to be as sturdy as middle or front seats.
What is the Safest Seat in Your Vehicle?
A majority of passengers dread sitting in the middle back seat. However, a 2006 study from the University of Buffalo showed that the middle seat in the back of the vehicle is the safest place to be in the event of a crash. Their study of all automobile accidents from 2000 to 2003 showed that passengers riding in the middle-back seat were 59 to 86 percent safer than those in the front seats. It also showed that middle seat riders were 25 percent safer than riders sitting on either side of them. The study concluded that the reason why middle seat passengers are safer is because in case of an accident where the vehicle is impacted on either side, middle seat drivers have more space around them.
Is the Middle Seat Always Safer?
In vehicles where the middle seat does not have a full seatbelt, then that specific seat is not the safest. In cars that do have full seatbelts in the middle seat, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends seating children up to age 13 in the middle seat to keep them safe.
Virginia Beach Car Accident Attorneys Advocate for Injured Accident Victims and Their Families
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a car accident, contact East Coast Trial Lawyers today. An experienced Virginia Beach car accident attorney will help you through the process of filing a claim and will work hard to recover the compensation you need for your injuries. To arrange a free consultation, contact us online or by phone at 757-352-2237. Our office is located in Virginia Beach and we proudly serve clients in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and throughout the state.