A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has discovered that rear seats are lagging behind front seats in terms of safety. Automotive experts have been so busy incorporating new devices for front seats that rear-seat safety remains, in essence, the same as it was in the 1990s. New Jersey residents may want to think twice about sitting in the back of a car.
The IIHS has pointed out several deficiencies in rear-seat safety. The first is a lack of force limiters. These devices unspool webbing from a seat belt to give more space to passengers when their harness tightens against them. The second area of concern has to do with airbags. While some automakers are developing forward airbags for rear seats, they are far from becoming a regular feature. The lack of side curtain airbags can also prove detrimental.
Front seats also affect rear-seat safety. All too often, automakers create front seats with weak backs that collapse in an accident. When this happens, the front-seat passenger will slide back and hit whoever is sitting behind.
This happened to a family in a 2005 Audi A4. The victim in the backseat incurred brain damage as a result. In 2016, Audi was forced to pay the family nearly $125 million in damages.
Whenever a motor vehicle accident is the fault of a driver or the maker of a defective auto part, an injured crashed may file a third-party insurance claim. Since New Jersey is a no-fault state, there are restrictions on this, so it may be wise to consult a lawyer. This state follows a comparative negligence a rule. Anyone 50% or less at fault is eligible for damages. Victims may let their lawyer handle negotiations.