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Prioritizing front-seat safety puts back seat passengers in greater danger

Lafayette, IN auto accident attorneyIf you are in a front-end car accident, you probably think sitting in the back seat is safest – farther away from the impact and less likely to result in injuries or death.

You would be wrong.

Car manufacturers have made huge gains in protecting front-seat occupants, according to an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study, but not passengers in the back seat. In fact, the institute says, you are more likely to survive a front-end crash if you are riding in the front seat.

“It’s not that the rear seat has become less safe, it’s that the front seat has become safer over time,” IIHS President David Harkey said.

Up Front About Safety, But Not in the Back

Among the technologies protecting front-seat occupants are:

  • Improved seat belts
  • Passive airbags (both front and side)
  • Electronic stability control
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking

If you are sitting in the back seat, however, IIHS found that seat belts can actually cause injuries and fatalities. The study covered 117 front-end crashes in which back-seat occupants 6 or older were killed, even though they were wearing seat belts. The organization concluded that improved car design and better safety equipment could have prevented a majority of the deaths. For example, rear seat belts are unlikely to employ pre-tensioners or force limiters to protect back seat occupants.

“The fact that our sample had mostly survivable crashes tells us that we need to do a better job restraining adults and older children in the back seat,” said IIHS Senior Research Engineer Jessica Jermakian.

Protect Yourself by Hiring an Attorney

If you’ve been injured in an accident – whether riding in the front or back seat – your life has been turned upside down. You may be out of work, facing a long period of physical rehabilitation and tremendous financial pressure because you are unable to pay your bills and support your family. At worst, your family has suffered the tragic loss of a loved one, perhaps a child. The emotional and mental pressures may seem unbearable as you deal with the legal system, the person denying responsibility for your car accident and an insurance company whose only interest is paying you as little as possible.

The Indiana car accident attorneys at Vaughan & Vaughan, based in Lafayette, have been handling cases just like yours and helping people just like you since 1913. They understand the chaos your life has become and know how to put your life back on track. They will investigate your accident, dealing with legal matters and the insurance company while you focus on what’s truly important – healing.

Contact them today for a free case consultation.

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