Unbuckled back seat vehicle passengers pose a serious risk to drivers, experts say

Posted at 9:50 AM, Aug 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 09:50:16-04

(NBC News) The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released graphic video illustrating the perils of passengers not wearing a seat belt in the back seat.

It shows what happens at impact when a car is going just 35 miles per hour.

"The rear seat passenger flies forward in the crash, hitting the back of the driver's seat, pushing the driver into the seat belt and the steering wheel," says IIHS Senior Research Engineer Jessica Jermakian.

Drivers are twice as likely to be fatally injured when an unbuckled rear seat passenger comes flying forward.

"When you don't buckle up in the back seat, it puts not only yourself in at risk, but it also puts other people in the vehicle at risk," Jermakian says.

The institute surveyed about 1,200 adults and found many don't buckle up in the back seat because they feel safer there, even when riding in a taxi, an Uber or Lyft.

The group least likely to report always buckling up in the back were those 35 to 54 years old.

Only 29 states and Washington D.C. require back seat safety belt use.

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