For years, automotive safety advocates have told passengers the safest place to sit in any vehicle is in the backseat. This makes sense, as being in the back places riders further away from front-end impacts. Still, it may be time to rethink the safety of the backseat.
According to reporting from NBC News, the front seats offer more protection for passengers than the ones in the back. Consequently, the next time your ride in a ride-hailing service vehicle, it may be wise to ask if you can sit in the front.
Backseats often lack safety features
Functionally, the backseats in many cars, trucks and SUVs are virtually the same as they have been for decades. While these seats have not become less safe, they often do not have front-facing airbags to protect passengers during motor vehicle accidents.
Even if you are in a vehicle that has side curtain airbags, there is likely to be little protection for your head, neck and torso. Furthermore, seat belts in the rear of vehicles are often less advanced than those in the front.
The study focuses on front-end collisions
The study that shows backseats to be less safe than front seats focuses on front-end collisions. If you are in a rear-end one, the most common type of car accident in the U.S., the backseat may offer adequate protection. Still, because of a lack of frontal airbags, you may be vulnerable to whiplash, organ damage and other serious injuries during a rear-end collision.
You simply may not have the option of sitting in the backseat every time you leave home. Ultimately, whether you suffer an injury in a front-end or rear-end crash, you may be able to seek financial compensation from the driver who caused the accident.