Do you feel safe without a seatbelt in the back seat? Here’s why you shouldn’t.
When you take an Uber ride or taxi do you buckle up? What about when you travel in the back seat of a friend or family members car? If you don’t click that belt, you’re not alone. A survey conducted by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety revealed that among those who admit to lax rear seat safety belt usage, as many as 80% of respondents don’t buckle up at all. About 2,000 rear seat passengers die in vehicle crashes each year according to a 2015 study conducted by NHTSA and IIHS.
Unbelted rear occupants don’t just put themselves at risk. The safety of front seat passengers is greatly compromised when the rear seat passengers are unrestrained. IIHS says that front seat occupants are twice as likely to be killed in a crash when the person seated behind them are not buckled. As the video shows, the force of the person behind the front occupant impacting the front seat drives the front occupant forward with immense force. This negates the benefits afforded the front occupant from the seat belts and airbags.
Vehicles are getting even safer in the back as new models are redesigned. For example, the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek adds safety belt pre-tensioners and force-limiters to the rear outboard seating positions for 2018. That means the rear seat passengers will benefit from the same type of technology that belted passengers up front have. However, the new design has a major weakness in the design. The passenger has to use it for it to work.