The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) recently reported on a survey they conducted about safety belt usage among adult passengers. The survey found adults have a misperception that buckling up in the back seat is optional. Four out of five adults surveyed said short trips or traveling by taxi or ride-hailing service are times they don’t use seat belts. Many of the respondents shared the same perception that riding in the back seat was safer in than riding in the front. Therefore, they viewed wearing seat belts as less important.
Looking further into the study, the group least likely to buckle up in the back were adults ages 35-54. Sixty-six percent of this group buckled up in the back seat, compared to 76 percent of adults ages 55 and older and 73 percent of adults 18-34. Additionally, 57 percent of back seat passengers in hired vehicles reported always using their seat belt, while 74 percent used seat belts in personal vehicles.
“If your cab or ride-hailing driver is involved in a crash, you want that safety belt," says Jessica Jermakian, IIHS senior researcher and co-author of the study. "Even if state law says belts are optional, go ahead and buckle up anyway. If you can't find the belt or it's inaccessible, ask your driver for help."
Take a look at the entire survey’s findings from IIHS and make sure to buckle up, no matter what seat you ride in.