Debate Continues Over Safest Seat During a Car Crash
A car accident is not truly safe for the occupants of any of the vehicles involved. Automakers and insurance companies, however, are constantly crunching numbers to determine which seat—if any—may be slightly less dangerous than others in the event of a car crash. Long-standing wisdom suggests that the back middle seat should be the safest in an accident, but recent advancements in safety technology have challenged this way of thinking.
Farthest From the Impact
The prevailing belief regarding the rear middle seat—despite usually being the most uncomfortable position in a vehicle—is that the spot is typically about as far as one can get from the point of impact. When a collision occurs at the front the car, the back middle is, on average, the farthest away and least likely to be affected. Crashes that occur at intersections may result in crushed doors and outer seats, but the middle is statistically safer.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that children under 13 always ride in the backseat. As long as the vehicle is equipped with a 3-point seat belt for the rear middle, that is where a child should sit, according to the NHTSA. The rear middle seat is also the recommended location for a car seat for an infant or small child. Some studies have found up to a 43 percent injury risk reduction by placing a car seat in the rear middle as opposed to a rear window seat.
Even for Adults?
While it may seem obvious that the safest place for children is in the back seat, is the same true for adults? According to recent research, adults may be safer in the front seat for several reasons. First, adult passengers are much more likely to wear a seat belt when riding in the front. This could be due to chiming reminders from the car itself, as well as more comfortable seat belt design in the front seat. Bench-style rear sets also make seat belt placement very awkward and less appealing in many cases.
New safety features and designs have also helped make front seats safer for adults in a crash. Many vehicles now include up to 10 or more airbags, including side-curtain airbags and knee-level airbags—most of which are centered around protecting drivers and front-seat passengers. Industry experts are quick to point out that the back seat has not necessarily become more dangerous for adults; it is just that the front seat has become much less dangerous in recent years.
Seek Help After an Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, regardless of where you were sitting, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Orland Park. We will work with you in getting the compensation you need and the peace of mind you deserve. Call 708-226-9000 for a free consultation at Schwartz Injury Law today.