Countless factors influence the property damage and injuries that result from a motor vehicle collision. From the size and speed of the vehicles to the direction of the impact, vehicle occupants can suffer serious injuries. In some situations, severe collisions can result in fatalities. One question, however, is whether an occupant’s position in the vehicle can impact the severity of injuries suffered.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) examined crash data to uncover any correlation between an occupant’s position in the vehicle and the severity of injuries he or she suffered. They investigated 117 car crashes in which the rear-seat occupants suffered serious injuries or were killed. In numerous cases, the backseat vehicle occupants suffered more catastrophic injuries than those in the front seats. Their investigation uncovered a concerning discrepancy in safety between the front and rear rows of seats.
Why is there a discrepancy?
In many ways, the discrepancy is directly related to the safety features that car manufactures have installed in the front compared to those in the rear of the vehicle. In general, extensive airbag coverage and shoulder seatbelts protect the front occupants. Based on this analysis, the IIHS is urging vehicle manufacturers to emphasize shoulder over lap belts in the rear seats, better airbag coverage and force limiters in the seatbelts.
Motor vehicle collisions not only result in serious property damage, but devastating injuries. Injuries can include broken bones, torn ligaments, brain damage, spinal cord trauma, amputation, paralysis and burn damage. In high-speed or front-end collisions, it is not uncommon for a vehicle occupant to be killed. If a vehicle collision caused injuries or resulted in the loss of a loved one, it is wise to explore your legal options for monetary compensation.