Some Tennessee residents may believe that sitting in the backseat of a vehicle offers certain protections. Unfortunately, a new study has revealed that this is not the case. A study done by researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that sitting in the backseat can be more dangerous than the front seat due to a lack of safety technology in this area.
Several areas in the rear seat were found to be deficient in safety features when compared. Front seat passengers have safety belts that have force limiters. During an accident, these force limiters cinch tightly, offering very little give. However, many vehicle rear seat safety belts don’t have force limiters. Additionally, rear-seat passengers don’t have as many side airbags, and no current vehicles offer forward airbags for these passengers. Some vehicle manufacturers are currently working on developing forward airbags for the back seat.
Recently, Audi was given a $125 million judgment due to rear-seat safety issues. In the suit, an 11-year-old boy suffered severe injuries when the 2005 Audi A4 Quatro he was sitting in was involved in a rear-end crash. The front seat collapsed in the crash, crushing the boy. This problem isn’t unique to Audi, and the Center for Auto Safety has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to update seat back tests to prevent future problems.
Since children are often backseat passengers, they are especially affected by the lack of safety features. Though car seats offer certain protections, laws vary by state. A lawyer may be able to help an injured backseat crash victim, or a representative of the victim, file a claim for damages. If the driver who caused the accident was found to have behaved negligently, they could be responsible for damages to the injured party.