Since the dawn of the automobile, siblings and friends have probably argued about who gets to ride shotgun. In fact, we've created a whole game that revolves around getting the front passenger seat in a car. While it's often the coolest or most comfortable seat, riding shotgun is definitely not the safest place to sit.
When it comes to the safest seat in the car, nowhere in the front qualifies. According to research data, sitting in the backseat of a car during an accident is far safer than occupying the front seats. But the award for the safest seat in the car goes to the one place that no one ever wants to get stuck: the back-middle seat.
The University of Buffalo concluded that back seat riders are anywhere from 59-86% safer than front seat occupants. Beyond that, passengers riding in the middle are 25% safer than other backseat riders.
One of the reasons the middle seat is safer than the rest is because its location gives it more space for the crumple zones. Cars are built and engineered with specific spots on the car's frame that are meant to crumble and crush to absorb some of the impact in the event of an accident.
By sitting in the middle of the car, you increase the distance between you and the outside impact, which essentially extends these crumple zones. Think of the extra space like a safety bubble around you when you take the middle seat rather than sitting next to the window.
It was also discovered that in the event of a rollover accident, the middle seat experienced a reduced force of impact because of its location. By being located in the center of the car, the rotational force is lessened compared to sitting in the seats located towards the outer edges of the vehicle.
Regardless of which seat you're stuck with, it's always crucial to buckle up. The study revealed that backseat passengers who wear their seatbelts are 200% to 500% less likely to be injured.
Seatbelts save lives. Whether you're riding shotgun, driving, or seated in the middle backseat, wearing your seatbelt will keep you safe if you're ever involved in an accident.
Fighting the urge to call out shotgun might be tricky, but remember getting stuck in the middle of the backseat has its perks. If you're ever driving with kids old enough for a regular seat but you still want that extra bit of protection, move them to the middle.
Most cars come with 3-point seatbelts in the middle, so the lap belts of old are becoming less prevalent, making the backseat even safer. It's always smart to take every safety measure you can. No one ever plans to be in an accident, but that doesn't stop them from happening. If you ever need legal help, our law firm is standing by 24/7. Don't hesitate to call for a free legal consultation.