Many states, especially Georgia, have laws about buckling up if you are in the front seat of a vehicle. However, there are no laws stating that back seat passengers over the age of 18 have to buckle in. However, being in the backseat does not make you any safer without a seatbelt than being in the front seat during a crash, as WSB Radio reports.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has renewed its warning about buckling up, even in the back seat. This renewed warning comes as a result of the rising popularity of riding-hailing businesses like Uber and Lyft. A new study reveals that backseat passengers not wearing safety belts can become “human missiles” in an accident. They can injure those sitting in front seats.
In the event of an accident, an unbelted person in the back seat of a car can slam into the front seat and drive the front seat passenger into the steering column or the dash with a 35-m.p.h. impact.
The popularity of Uber and Lyft means that back seat passengers using these services are more likely to go unbelted. In 2015 alone, 1,018 rear-set passengers were killed in auto accidents according to the IIHS.
In an IIHS survey conducted last year, it was found that only 72% of rear-seat passengers said they always use a belt in the back seat. That percentage jumped to 91% when they were in the front seat. The survey asked 1,172 people about their seat belt habits.
The report also indicated that if the ride is a short distance ride, such as those hailed rides, people are less likely to buckle up in the back seat.
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