Recent research suggests that the back seat may not be safer than the front seat in a car crash, because of seatbelts. Additionally, unsafe back seat seatbelt designs may disproportionately affect older adults and children, who are more likely to be back seat passengers.
While many seat belt safety advances have been made in recent years, these safety advances have been primarily made to front seats. For example, front seat seatbelts typically use load limiter technology, which offers safety protections such as tightening when a crash is about to occur, and loosening if the belt is so tight that it could injure the passenger.
However, most back seat seatbelts do not contain this technology and many researchers think that back seat seatbelts should use similar advanced technology as front seat seatbelts.
It is important to remember that seatbelts help prevent serious injuries and deaths in car accidents. According to the CDC, seatbelts reduce serious injuries in car accidents by about half. In Texas, drivers and all passengers are required to wear seatbelts.
As back seat seatbelt technology improves, perhaps we will see a reduction in serious roadway injuries and deaths among those wearing them.