Injury rate for back seat passengers in Virginia
Photo of Attorneys T. Noel Brooks and Jesse Baez walking outside.
Photo of T. Noel Brooks and Jesse Baez

Injury rate for back seat passengers in Virginia

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2021 | Personal Injury

The state of Virginia has implemented laws to ensure the safety of all people inside a car. However, even if you adhere to these laws, research has found that people in the back seat have a greater chance of injury than front seat passengers. Read on to find out why this is the case and what you should do to ensure your safety.

Injury rate for back seat passengers

According to one study, back seat passengers were at a greater risk for traumatic brain injuries (10.26%) than front seat passengers (7.48%) and drivers (7.01%). Front seat passengers were only slightly more likely to suffer serious abdominal injuries (5.91%) compared to back seat passengers (5.46%).

Why are back seats more dangerous?

Back seat passengers are not protected as much as front seat passengers. For example, in a collision, someone sitting in the back may collide head-on with the front seat if they are not wearing a belt. Even if they are wearing a seat belt, they may experience severe chest injuries.

What are the vehicle safety laws in Virginia?

Some of the laws put in place to prevent personal injury include wearing a seat belt. It is a must for children under 16 years to wear a seat belt or to be secured with a safety seat. Passengers 16 years and above are also required to wear a seat belt.

For adults, the law tends to differ a little. A police officer will not stop you for not wearing a seat belt, but if they pull you over for a different road safety violation like reckless driving or speeding, you can also be fined for not wearing a seat belt.

How can you protect yourself?

First of all, adhere to safe driving rules at all times. Secondly, it may be helpful to buy a newer car with enhanced safety features. For example, newer models typically come with side airbags, inflatable seat belts and seats with headrests. You may not be able to prevent all accidents, but in the event of a crash, you want to reduce the severity of any injuries.