As Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky knows, there is an ongoing battle with making rear-seat passengers wear their seat belts, often time with deadly results. A recent report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that while 90% vehicle occupants wear their seat belt while seated in the front seat, back seat passengers too often fail to use seat belts, resulting in nearly eight times as many car accident personal injuries. Even more concerning is the failure of tax, Uber and Lyft riders to use seat belts.
Although most drivers and occupants know that highway car and truck accidents are a leading cause of wrongful deaths, with more than 35,000 annually, a rate of nearly 100 deaths every day, they don’t realize that the rate of car accident deaths, particularly those attributed to a lack of seat belt use actually rose almost 5% last year. The studies also show that the likelihood of an unbelted vehicle occupant dying in a fatal car accident was higher for those unrestrained riders in the back, not the front of cars.
In fact, occupants routinely admit to not wearing their seat belts in the back of vehicles. The Institute’s study found nearly 25% of those surveyed admitted to not wearing their seat belt in the back seat versus the front. Many drivers don’t realize that an unbelted occupant is also a hazard for others in a vehicle, as the unrestrained person may slam into the other occupants causing serious injuries. Researchers at the University of Virginia found that there is a more than 100% increase in the likelihood a driver will be killed by an unrestrained occupant will seated behind them.