When you think of getting into a head-on car crash, it is common to assume that the safest place to be is in the back seat. However, a recent study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that rear passengers might actually be in more danger in a head-on caar crash than those in the front seat. This is due to a lack of safety protections for those in the back versus the front seat.
In recent years, automakers have made it a priority to improve the safety restraints for both the driver’s seat and passenger seat, but not much attention has been paid to the back seat in terms of safety measures. One main issue is poorly engineered seat belts in the back, compared to seat belts in the front. According to the IIHS, the seat belt pre-tensioners that tighten just enough to avoid serious injury immediately before a collision are not good enough in the back seat.
IIHS President David Harkey noted that back seats have not become less safe over time, it is just that front seats have become a lot safer. The study found that the safest place for young children is still the back seat, strapped into a car seat, as the airbag is too powerful for children, especially in a head-on car crash. He also noted as more and more people use rideshares and eventually self-driving cars, there will be an increase of people in the back seat of vehicles and it is crucial to think harder about the safety for those in the back seat.
Source: USA Today