Seat belts are extremely effective at saving lives and reducing injuries in the event of a car accident. However, this will only work if the occupants of the vehicle are wearing their seat belt. While research shows that close to 91 percent of adults say they always buckle up when riding in the front seat, only 72 percent consistently wear their seat belt when riding in the back seat. Too many people are under the impression that the back seat is safer than the front seat if they are in a car wreck. Unfortunately, this could not be farther from the truth as rear passengers can become human missiles in a crash, causing serious injuries to those in the front seat.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), seat belt laws and safety education has been very effective at getting people to use their seat belts in the front seat. It has been less effective at convincing passengers in the back seat to do the same. This is particularly true for people who use ride sharing services like Lyft or Uber. A survey by IIHS reveals that only 57 percent of passengers use seat belts when they are riding in the backseat of a hired vehicle. According to an IIHS senior research engineer, survey respondents said that they did not need to buckle up when riding in the back seat because it is safer than the front seat.
Seat Belts Save Lives
According to federal crash statistics, back seat passengers are three times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in a car accident if they are not wearing a seatbelt. Not only does it protect the rear passenger, but others in the vehicle as well. A crash test video showed what can happen to the front seat passenger when the rear seat passenger is not wearing a seatbelt. The crash test dummy hits the seat in front of it with such force that it crushes the driver into the steering wheel. This does not happen when both dummies are buckled in.
To convince people that wearing a seatbelt in the back seat is just as important as wearing one in the front seat, the Executive Director of the Governors Highway Safety Association believes that safety officials must develop a combination of strong rear-seat laws as well as widespread education campaigns. In the state of Maryland, all vehicle occupants are required to wear a seatbelt, including back seat passengers. Six out of 10 survey respondents said that they would be more likely to use a seat belt in the back seat if there was a required law.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Obtain Maximum Compensation for Car Accident Victims
Wearing a seatbelt is the first line of defense in protecting yourself against injuries in the event of a car accident. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton so that we can take the necessary steps to protect your rights and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.