Would you be surprised to learn that your vehicle’s front seat may keep you safer than the back seat if you are in a head-onBumped cars in accident on the road crash? An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study found that rear passengers may lack sufficient protections in head-on collisions lending to serious injuries or death.

The IIHS study looked at 117 crashes where belted rear-seat occupants age 6 to 92 were killed or seriously injured in front-end crashes. A third of the passengers suffered chest injuries, while nine of the injured passengers and 18 of those who were killed suffered head injuries.

Advances in seatbelt and airbag technology (ex. load limiters or pre-tensioners) has greatly improved the safety of those in the front seat, but the same cannot be said for those passengers sitting in the back seat. As a result of the study, the IIHS is now developing new crash testing to demonstrate the new safety concerns, and by 2022, the Institute hopes to have a back-seat crash test, allowing buyers to compare new models. The IIHS hopes the new tests will encourage automakers to make the necessary safety improvements absent any federal regulations.

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