With so many Americans opting to hire cars for their everyday travels, it is surprising that a large percentage of adults do not buckle up when riding in the back seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) polled more than 1,000 users of Ubers, taxis, and other privately-owned cars and found that more than a quarter of adults do not buckle up in the back seat. These statistics are alarming considering that half of all people killed in car accidents every year are not wearing seatbelts.
Data on backseat seatbelt use
The IIHS report shows significant differences between seatbelt use in the front and rear seats of hired cars. While 91 percent of adults use seatbelts in the front seat, only 72 percent use seatbelts in the back. When asked why passengers refrain from using them in the back seat, one quarter of riders simply said that they felt safer in the back of their Uber or taxi.
Surprisingly, backseat passengers who do not use seatbelts are not the only ones at risk when involved in a car accident. The IIHS also recently conducted frontal crash tests with un-restrained dummies. They found that not only are rear passengers not wearing seatbelts more likely to die in a car accident, but they are more likely to kill the drivers in front of them in the event of a crash. Upon impact, unrestrained passengers launch forward, forcing drivers into the airbag and steering wheel. Even when a driver wears a seatbelt, they are twice as likely to die in a crash with an unrestrained passenger behind them – even with a speed as slow as 35 miles per hour.
Educating passengers on seatbelt safety
Only 21 states have laws requiring adults to use seatbelts in the back seat of all vehicles. Americans are not getting the message about seatbelt safety, especially in hired cars. Some safety advocates believe legislation is necessary to mandate backseat seatbelt use. With the rise in Uber and Lyft use in cities and towns across the country, drivers who encourage the use of seatbelts for their customers can save lives. Company policies that require all passengers to buckle-up in hired cars are another option to increase driver and guest safety.
Philadelphia Uber Accident Lawyers McCann & Wall, LLC Protect Hired Drivers
Many Americans are turning to hired-car services for extra income and job flexibility. Without laws requiring passengers to buckle up, drivers are vulnerable in the event of a car accident. Philadelphia Uber accident lawyers at the law firm of McCann & Wall, LLC protect drivers and passengers injured in Uber, Lyft, and taxi accidents. McCann & Wall’s skilled team of Philadelphia car accident lawyers hold careless and negligent drivers and passengers responsible.
Schedule your free case consultation by calling 215-515-2236 or by contacting us online. With offices throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey, McCann & Wall are proud to serve residents of the greater Philadelphia area.