Rear seat car passengers often unrestrained

travelling in car without seatbelts

Worrying findings in U.S. study

A U.S. study has found about 30% of adults regularly avoid using a seatbelt when traveling in the back seat of cars.

The study was undertaken by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and involved 1,172 respondents who said they had ridden in the back seat of a vehicle in the last six months.

72% said they always use their belt in the back seat, but nearly all of the others said they often don’t bother using a belt when on short trips or traveling by taxi or a ride-hailing service.

On front seat seatbelt use, 91% said they always ‘buckle up’.

Jessica Jermakian, IIHS senior research engineer, says many adults still seem to think that buckling up is optional.

“For most adults, it’s still as safe to ride in the back seat as the front seat, but not if you aren’t buckled up, and that applies to riding in a taxi or an Uber, too.”

So, why are these people choosing not to use their seatbelt when traveling in the rear seat?

The survey found the number one reason was because they believe the rear seat is safer than the front, so using a belt isn’t necessary.

The next most popular reason is because it isn’t a habit or they forget about it.

While 12% cited uncomfortable or poorly fitting belts as a reason for not buckling up.

“People who don’t use safety belts might think their neglect won’t hurt anyone else. That’s not the case,” Jermakian says.

“In the rear seat, a lap/shoulder belt is the primary means of protection in a frontal crash.

“Without it, bodies can hit hard surfaces or other people at full speed, leading to serious injuries.”

Adults 35 to 54 were the least likely group to report always buckling up in the back seat (66%), compared with 76% of adults 55 and older and 73% of adults 18 to 34.

Women were also more likely than men to report always using a belt in the rear seat.

Do you ever not put your seatbelt on? Do you skip the belt in the backseat of a taxi or Uber? Let us know in the comments section below.

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