Not enough people are buckling up in the back seat, says highway safety report

According to a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), most drivers instinctively put on their seat belts when they get behind the wheel, but not enough back seat passengers are buckling up. About 90 percent of adults wear seat belts in the front seat, but the number drops to 76 percent for back seat passengers. Only 57 percent of people buckle up in the back seat of for-hire vehicles such as taxis, Uber and Lyft.

People fail to wear seat belts in the back seat for several reasons. Most often people claim that they were in a rush, did not think it was necessary on short trips, or were uncomfortable doing so. The GHSA study found that 803 people died in crashes while sitting unbuckled in the back seat of a vehicle in 2018. Around half of the deaths may have been prevented if the passengers had worn seat belts.

In 2017 and 2018, Florida had 66.6 percent of rear seat passengers wearing seat belts in fatal accidents, which is below the national average. Under state law, all drivers, front seat passengers and everyone under the age of 18 are required to fasten their seat belts. However, the state has no back seat belt law.

According to the report, 20 states have no mandatory seat belt requirements for adult passengers in the back seat. Safety advocates recommend that all states enforce strong seat belt laws and promote the benefits of seat belt usage.

Everyone should wear a seat belt no matter where they sit in a vehicle. Buckling up can prevent injuries and save lives during car accidents. If you have been hurt in car accident, contact the lawyers at Joyce & Reyes to find out how we can help you recover compensation.