Study shows surviving violent car crashes may depend on where you sit

ORLANDO, Fla. — The extent of your injuries when getting into a crash may depend on where you are sitting in a car.


A newly released study from the Florida Department of Transportation found out what experts say needs to change.

FDOT said 2019 statistics show Florida’s seatbelt rate was 89.8%.

There is no questioning whether seatbelts save lives, but new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says, in a lot of vehicles, where you sit plays a role.

Read: 5 Connecticut children ages 8 to 17 killed in fiery crash in New York

“Our ratings clearly show there’s a difference in rear seat passenger protection when it comes to vehicles,” said IIHS President David Harkey.

IIHS says in vehicles from the model year 2007 onward, the risk of a fatal injury is 46% higher for belted occupants in the rear seat than in the front.

The agency stresses this isn’t because the rear seat has become less safe, but because restraint technologies have only improved in the front seat.

They put it to the test in a dozen different mid-size SUVs moving at 40 mph using a crash dummy.

Read: Motorcyclist killed after crashing into minivan, deputies say

They looked to see if the restraints would prevent the excessive risk of injury to the head, neck, chest, abdomen or thigh- the injuries most commonly seen in rear-seat passengers.

They found these 4 mid-size SUVs did the job.

The seat belt remained positioned, the side curtain airbag performed correctly, and more.

No SUV they tested received an overall average rating.

Read: Orange County hosts Operation Green Light this week

Three others were given the marginal mark. Six were rated poor because of a high risk of head or neck injuries to the rear passenger.

IIHS says the last time they did this test with just a crash test driver dummy it led to safety technologies being added to the front seat to protect the driver and the front seat passenger.

See more in the video above.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.