National News

New video shows what happens to unbuckled passengers in crash

Posted August 3

The number of serious and fatal injuries to people riding in the back seat of vehicles during crashes would be greatly reduced if more people buckled up, according to a new study.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released dramatic video on Wednesday showing what happens during a crash of a car going just 35 mph.

"The rear seat passenger flies forward in the crash, hitting the back of the driver's seat, pushing the driver into the seat belt and the steering wheel," said IIHS Senior Research Engineer Jessica Jermakian.

Jermakian said drivers are twice as likely to be killed in a crash when an unbuckled, rear-seat passenger comes flying forward.

"When you don't buckle up in the back seat, it puts not only yourself in at risk, but it also puts other people in the vehicle at risk," Jermakian said.

A survey of roughly 1,200 people by the IIHS found that some don't buckle up in the back seat because they feel safer than in the front seat. Those numbers included people who take taxis or get rides through Uber or Lyft.

The survey found that 72 percent of adults always wear seat belts while riding in the back seat.

"More than 50 percent of the people who die each year in the rear seat are unbuckled, and that number would drop dramatically if people buckled up," Jermakian said.

Only 29 states and the District of Columbia require rear-seat passengers wear their seat belts.

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