Many of us have heard this expression somewhere before: the back seat is less dangerous than the front seat. This false sense of security has led many to forego buckling up when riding in the back.
This is dangerous for many reasons. The laws of physics don't just apply to front-seat passengers. In fact, not wearing your seatbelt in the back can potentially put front seat riders in harm's way.
Let's look at why it's important to wear your seatbelt at all times in the back, what happens if you don't, and statistics to help you persuade others who are reluctant to wear them.
Unbuckled Passengers Are 3x More Likely to Die in a Crash
The myth that you don't need a seatbelt when riding in the back is dangerous. Crash tests have shown that passengers can be thrown up and over front seats, smashing into the steering wheel, dashboard or front window.
A video released by the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) shows the bone-crushing force of what can happen when a passenger is thrown against a person sitting in the front seat. Not only is the person in front subjected to the force of the crash, but they also experience secondary force from the passenger behind them. This greatly increases both parties' chances of being seriously injured.
If there's a rollover crash and a person is unbuckled, they are more than likely going to be ejected from the vehicle. Being ejected usually results in serious injuries or death.
Georgia's Back Seatbelt Laws
In the U.S., 28 states require all passengers to wear seatbelts no matter where they sit. Georgia, unfortunately, does not.
The law mandates that passengers between ages six and 17 wear safety belts, but for anyone over 18, they are only required in the front seat. It's mind-boggling, to say the least.
With decades of research available, it's clear that seatbelts save lives. The numbers back this up. Georgia ranks sixth in the nation for unrestrained passenger fatalities.
Currently, the law does not require adult back seat passengers to wear safety belts. This perpetuates the myth that it's okay to not wear seatbelts in the back. Despite the law, use common sense. You should always wear a seatbelt in the back, no matter how old you are.
Always Buckle Up for Rideshares, Limos, and Buses
For some, rideshare vehicles, taxis, limos, airport buses, and party buses provide a false sense of security. The drive may be short or finding a seatbelt is a hassle.
These excuses are dangerous. Passengers standing, drinking, lounging or even just sitting are liable to collide into each other and the vehicle should a wreck occur.
Buckling up is easy and usually takes only three seconds. Whenever possible, wear your seatbelt.
Of the more than 37,000 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, nearly half were not wearing seat belts. More lives could have been saved had they been wearing them.
Wearing a safety belt is the single most effective way to protect yourself in a crash. It keeps you safe and secure and reduces your risk of injury.
If you were a passenger in a car or truck and have been injured, talk to our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Gary Martin Hays & Associates to discuss your claim, regardless of whether you were wearing your seatbelt.
We'll look over the facts of your case and evaluate your claim based on our years of experience and knowledge of Georgia law. Call (770) 934-8000 or contact us online today.