IIHS study shows where rear seat safety is inadequate

Improvements in car safety largely benefit front-seat passengers but not those in the rear seats. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has called rear seats a “danger zone” and has laid out the various deficiencies in rear seat safety. Residents of Texas may want to avoid sitting in the rear whenever possible.

One deficiency is the lack of airbags. Very cars come with side curtain airbags, which can protect rear-seat passengers from hard surfaces, and no cars are equipped with forward airbags for these passengers. Some automakers are developing them, however. Next, the IIHS points to the lack of force limiters on rear seatbelts. These devices can keep the seatbelt from tightening too much against the passenger in a collision.

Another problem has less to do with the rear seats than with the front. Many front seats have a back that can collapse in the event of a car crash, sending the front-seat passenger sliding back into the rear-seat passenger. Back in 2016, Audi had to pay a family $125 million in damages after this occurred in their 2005 Audi A4.

Parents of young children will want to use rear-facing child seats. The American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends the use of these seats for as long as the children fit in them.

Those who are injured in a motor vehicle crash may wonder who was to blame. If it was the other driver, the matter might be relatively simple, but a weak seat back or another defect may have contributed to injuries. Whether the case involves product liability or not, victims may benefit from having a lawyer assess it. If retained, the lawyer may even bring in investigators to strengthen the case. A successful personal injury case could reimburse victims for medical expenses, lost wages and more.