IIHS: Unbelted Back-Seat Passengers Can Fatally Injure Driver in Crash

Here in Mt. Orab, passengers in the back seat of a vehicle are not required by law to wear their seatbelts. That's a person's individual liberty, but there is still very good reason to buckle up.

When an unrestrained passenger is sitting behind them, drivers are more than twice as likely to be killed in a severe collision, compared to crashes where the back-seat passengers are buckled up. The IIHS ran a test using crash dummies to confirm this statistic, and the result was shocking.

You might think a rear-seat passenger will hit the back of the driver's seat and be stopped, but the video demonstrates that this is not the case. In a high-speed collision, most car seats cannot withstand the force of a 150-pound (or more) human body being slammed into them from behind. The seat crumples forward, crushing the driver into the expanding airbag and steering wheel.

New Ford vehicles have warning systems to remind the driver and front passenger to fasten their safety belts. It may be time for them to expand those reminders to the second row.

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