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Avoiding Car Accident Injuries: Wear Seat Belts in the Back Seat

Posted on in Car Accidents

back seat safety, car accident injuries, Lake County vehicle accident attorneys, seat belt safety, motor vehicle accidentsThe importance of wearing a seat belt when driving or riding in a car is well known, but while adults usually ensure that children are safely buckled up, they sometimes neglect to wear their own safety belts. When adults ride in a vehicle’s back seat, they may feel that a seat belt is not necessary. However, this negligence can result in serious injuries in car accidents.

Adult Seat Belt Usage

A recent survey performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that while 91 percent of the adults surveyed always wear a seat belt when they are in a vehicle’s front seat, only 72 percent always wear a seat belt in the back seat. People gave a variety of reasons for not wearing seat belts, including a belief that seat belts are not necessary because back seats are safer than front seats. People were also less likely to wear seat belts when riding in taxis or ride-sharing services like Uber, with only 57 percent of people saying they always wore seat belts in hired vehicles.

Of the people surveyed, adults between the age of 35 and 54 were least likely to always wear seat belts in the back seat, and women were more likely than men to always use safety belts. Two-thirds of the respondents said that audible reminders would make them more likely to wear seat belts, and more than 50 percent of people would be more likely to wear seat belts if they were more comfortable.

Sixty percent of people said that they would wear seat belts in the back seat if it was required by law. Currently, rear seat passengers are required to wear safety belts in 29 states (including Illinois) and the District of Columbia.

The Importance of Wearing Seat Belts

While the perception that the back seat is a safer place to ride in a vehicle may lead adults to forego wearing safety belts, doing so can have serious consequences in the case of an accident. A 2015 study found that adults who did not wear seat belts in rear seats were nearly eight times more likely to be seriously injured in car crashes than those who did wear seat belts.

Not wearing a seat belt can also result in injuries to a car’s other occupants. A 2013 study found that when a passenger seated in the left rear seat was not wearing a safety belt, the driver was twice as likely to be fatally injured in a vehicle accident.

IIHS spokespeople emphasized the importance of wearing seat belts in every situation, including when riding in hired vehicles, whether the law requires it or not. Since more than 50 percent of people who die in motor vehicle accidents each year are not wearing safety belts, simply buckling up can save lives.

Contact a Waukegan Car Accident Attorney

If you have been involved in an auto accident in which a driver or passenger was not wearing a seat belt, you should contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. At Salvi & Maher, L.L.C., we can advise you of your rights and represent you as you seek compensation for any injuries you have suffered. Contact our skilled Lake County vehicle accident attorneys at 847-662-3303 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/adults-admit-to-not-always-using-safety-belts-in-the-back-seat-iihs-survey-finds

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/52/5/1

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