New study determines that a seatbelt can save more than just the life of the person wearing it.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has conducted a study in which it was determined that a driver is two times as apt to be killed in an accident if he or she has an unbelted passenger seated behind them- even if the driver is wearing his or her own seatbelt.
Video of the front crash test shows the test dummy in the rear colliding with the back of the driver’s seat forcefully enough to thrust the driver into the steering wheel just as the airbag is deflating after the point of impact at just 35 mph.
Researchers at IIHS found the results particularly alarming when paired with another IIHS survey that shows back seat passengers are far less apt to use their seat belts in a taxi, Lyft, or Uber than they would in a friend’s or family member’s car.
In the survey, a little more than fifty percent of respondents reported always using their seat belt when they hail a ride, compared to nearly 75 percent using the rear seatbelt when riding in a personal vehicle. However, 91 percent of respondents said they use seatbelts when they are passengers in the front seat. This is due in part to the fact that people feel less prone to injury in case of an accident in the back seat of a vehicle than they do in the front seat.
The reality is, you are safest anywhere in the vehicle if you are wearing your seat belt.
And in case you needed a safety reminder, here are the top 5 things you should know about wearing your seatbelt:
- It is the single most effective way of protecting yourself in an accident. In fact, seatbelts save over 13,000 lives every year across the country.
- Air bags are not meant to replace seatbelts, but rather work in conjunction with them. Not wearing your seatbelt in a crash will only send you flying into a hastily opening front air bag. Those combined forces can be deadly.
- There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. The lap belt and shoulder belt should fit securely across your pelvis and rib cage- not too loose and not too tight.
- Seatbelts in different vehicles fit differently. When purchasing a vehicle, ask the salesman about how the seatbelt can be adjusted. Seatbelt extenders are available from the manufacturer if necessary.
- They should protect all vehicle occupants. Everyone in the vehicle should be properly restrained, including children and infants.
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