Scary New Reason to Buckle Up in the Back

It's clear no passengers should ever be unbelted — the results of a new study are compelling

Seat belts don’t just save the lives of those wearing them.

Testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that a driver who has an unbelted passenger sitting behind him is twice as likely to die in an accident, even with his own seat belt on.

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The frontal crash test was conducted at 35 mph, and video shows the rear passenger slamming into the back of the driver’s seat with enough force to crush the driver into the steering wheel as the airbag deflates.

The organization said the results are particularly concerning given the results of a companion survey that discovered passengers are less likely to buckle up in the back seat of a hire car, such as a taxi, Uber or Lyft than they are in a privately operated vehicle.

Just over half of the survey’s respondents said they always use their seat belts in the back seat of a hailed vehicle, while approximately three-quarters of them do in personal cars.

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Related: Left Your Phone in an Uber? It’ll Cost You

This compares to 91 percent seat-belt use reported by front-seat passengers, and in part reflects an outdated assumption that the rear seat is safer than the front, regardless of seat-belt use.

This Fox News piece is used by permission.

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(photo credit, homepage image: Karla A. Seijas)

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