Kline Legal Group P.L.C.

Cars may be less safe for back seat passengers

Michigan passengers who ride in the back seat of cars may not be as safe as those who ride in the front. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more safety technology needs to be added to back seats as auto manufacturers have added it to front seats.

The issue is not that back seats have become more unsafe but that front seats have grown safer. Front seat safety improvements include adjustments to seat belts that are not standard for back seats. In addition to seat belt reminders, there are force limiters. These allow some expansion in the seat belt so that a person is less likely to get chest injuries from a sudden stop. There are also seat belts designed to work with air bags in the front seat.

Back seat safety designers face a number of challenges. While a driver who is of a certain minimum age will be in the front seat, the back seat could have people of any age or size, pets or cargo. Seat belt compliance overall is also lower for back seat passengers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that while 90% of people in the front seat use their seat belts, only around 75% of those in the back seat do.

While safety features in a car can reduce the likelihood of injuries in an accident, car accidents may still happen and might be caused by people who are speeding, distracted, fatigued, drunk or negligent in some other way. Determining who is at fault in the accident is important because the person who caused the accident may be required to pay compensation to people who are injured. This compensation might include medical costs and costs for vehicle repair. An attorney may be able to help a person obtain the compensation they are eligible for.

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