Unbelted Rider in the Back Could Kill Someone in the Front

by Cheryl Jensen
FairWarning.org

People who don’t buckle up when they ride in the rear seat because they think it’s safer back there are wrong. Instead, they pose a serious danger to themselves and those riding up front, according to a new study and crash test video by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The video of that crash at 35 mph shows the unbelted test dummy flying forward and slamming into the rear of the front seat, which then forces the belted driver dummy into the air bag and steering wheel.

“That absolutely can have fatal consequences for both the rear seat passenger and the driver,” said Jessica Jermakian, a study co-author and senior research engineer with the insurance institute. Safety research shows that drivers are more than two times as likely to be killed in a crash if the occupant behind them is not wearing a seat belt, she said.

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