According to national studies, the use of seat belts in the rear seats is much lower than the use of seat belts in the car’s front seats. For example, it has been observed that adults use the rear seat belts 75% of the time during a car trip, while when traveling in the front seat, they use it 90% of the time.
Every year, thousands of people die in car accidents. According to the driver safety organization, in 2018, approximately 803 passengers who were in the back seat without seat belts during an accident died. The same organization estimates that half of them would have survived if they had used their seatbelts. People who use ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft rarely wear seat belts.
During a car accident, the laws of physics apply to everyone in a car, both in the front and rear, putting them at risk of severe injury or even death. Some of the most common injuries that we can see in these accidents are lacerations, head trauma, broken bones, neck injuries, and ejection from the vehicle.
Much has also been discussed about the need for car manufacturers to develop better conditions and safety devices for people who travel in the back seats. For example, while drivers have airbags to protect them in the event of an impact, rear-seat passengers only have the restraint of a seat belt. There is no other device to protect the backseat passengers from the seats in front.
For older adults, just as for children, it is vitally important to wear a seat belt at all times to reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident.
As a driver, you can make a difference, making sure that all your passengers always use it, no matter where they travel in the car.