CHARLOTTE, N.C. (February 15, 2019) – According to a recent IIHS study, many adults don’t feel the need to strap on their seatbelts while riding in the backseat and AAA Carolinas is warning passengers that failing to buckle up in the back can have devastating consequences.
Unbelted rear passengers can become human missiles – injuring themselves and the other passengers, even those wearing seatbelts.
“You should always buckle up no matter where you are riding in a vehicle,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “Failure to do so not only puts you at risk, but can be dangerous to the rest of the passengers in the car as you could hit them with a force strong enough to cause serious injury or even death.”
Testing by the IIHS found that a driver who has an unbelted passenger sitting behind them is twice as likely to die in the event of a wreck, even if wearing a seatbelt. When traveling at just 35 mph, the unbelted rear passenger will slam into the driver with a force strong enough to deflate the airbag.
The IIHS survey also found only 72% of the 1,172 respondents said they always use a belt in the back seat, compared to 91% who said they always use one when seated in front. Those aged 35- to 54 were the least likely group to report buckling up in the back seat. Only 66% of this group reported ‘always’ bucking up in the back seat compared to 73% of adults 18 to 34.
The report also showed that people are least likely to belt up in the back when they are taking a short-distance ride in a hailed car — like an Uber or taxi. Four out of 5 adults surveyed say short trips or traveling by taxi or ride-hailing service are times they don’t bother to use a belt.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2.1 million member and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.