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Is the back seat safest in a car crash?

There's nothing great about being involved in a collision. Seeing the oncoming vehicle coming into the vehicle you're riding in is terrifying, and avoiding the crash entirely would be preferential. However, few people choose to be in a collision, and we now know more about the optimal place to be in a vehicle.

You may think that the back seat is the safest place to be in a collision because you're farther from a front impact. This makes sense, but recent research indicates this is not the case.

The safest half of the vehicle

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked at 117 crashes involving injuries or deaths of back-seat passengers. It was the back-seat passengers injured more seriously in crashes than the driver or front-seat passenger.

Researchers hypothesize that back-seat safety advancements are behind front-seat safety with airbags and seat belts with features like force limiters. Most new vehicles have things like side curtain airbags in the back, but the injuries in the study were most commonly in the chest area. Rear passengers may benefit from safety advances that prevent them from hitting the seat in front of them during an accident.

Some catching up to do

The back seat can be a scary place to be in accident. When you're a driver, you can attempt to avoid the accident but are at the mercy of the driver when you're in the back. Auto makers have made strides in making front-seat passengers safer, but they cannot forget those in back. Whether it's the driver of the vehicle you're riding in or the other driver, their insurance may cover your medical bills, missed work and more.

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