A lot of the focus when it comes to car safety is on the driver. Drivers, after all, are responsible for being responsible behind the wheel, and so safe driving techniques and new technologies aimed at increased safety is often aimed at them. But new research suggests that an exclusive focus on drivers can mean that passengers are left in the dust.
"Cars are safer than they've ever been, but with improvements focused largely on front-seat passengers, safety groups in Washington say those in the backseat are being left behind."
As detailed in an article in The Detroit News, the Insurance Institute for Highways Safety (IIHS) has conducted studies that show that being a backseat passenger comes with its own set of serious dangers. While rear seats are often safer than front seats, the safety of back seat passengers risks lagging behind as cars become safer. Another factor is the growing shift towards car-share apps. While you may take certain precautions as a passenger in a vehicle that you know, those same precautions don't always translate when taking a hired ride.
"... the use of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft in major cities like Detroit is on the rise, and studies show back-seat passengers are less likely to buckle up in hired vehicles than the are in privately owned cars."
We are moving towards a future where cars will be safer than they have ever been, and an important part of that future needs to be the safety of all vehicle occupants. But another valuable lesson is that, regardless of what technology the future holds, everyone has a part to play in making reducing traffic fatalities. In other words, if you're sitting in the backseat, buckle up!
You can check out The Detroit News for more on the latest IIHS study.