Safety experts urge greater protection for rear seats

Auto accidents in Texas can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. However, improved safety technologies mean that modern automobiles are now safer than ever before. Devices like automatically locking seat belts and airbags save lives. Yet some of the most effective technologies to save lives in a crash are often confined to the front seat only.

Many people assume that rear-seat passengers are automatically more protected in most types of crashes. In some ways, this can be true, but people in the back seat can also be at risk of devastating and deadly injuries. In many types of crashes, rear-seat passengers may actually face greater risks. A director of the Center for Auto Safety said that as front-seat safety technologies have improved dramatically, rear-seat technologies have lagged behind. Airbags and seat belt reminders are now standard in front seats but are rarely found in the back.

The director also noted that more passengers are using the rear seats, especially with the growing popularity of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. He noted that Congress passed a law in 2012 calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make a rule requiring car manufacturers to install seat belt warning lights in the rear. However, no such regulation has been implemented. He also said that seat-back strength standards have not been updated in half a century even though rear seat backs may be prone to collapse in serious rear-end crashes.

Of course, most car crashes and the resulting injuries can be prevented by avoiding dangerous or negligent driving. Someone who has been hurt in a car accident caused by a negligent motorist can work with a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for damages.