Report: Do car seatbacks pose a threat in accidents?

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2021 | Personal Injury |

When getting ready to welcome a new child, one of the parent’s primary worries is finding a safe car seat. It is indeed critical for families to find the right car seat and make sure it is installed properly to keep their children safe.

Aside from this, North Carolina drivers and passengers rarely consider their own seats inside the vehicle. However, a recent report indicates that the safety of the seats already within our vehicles might require more attention than many previously thought.

Seatback failure: What is the risk?

For decades now, CBS has investigated safety issues and concerns regarding vehicle seats. The investigation found that, in some cases, seats could break in a rear-end accident and lead to even more severe injuries. Essentially, if hit from behind, the front seats could collapse and propel backward – directly into the back passenger seats.

How serious is this risk? CBS reports that in the last 30 years:

  • More than 100 people suffered serious or fatal injuries as a result of this issue
  • Most of them were children sitting in the backseats
  • However, individuals in the collapsed seats can also suffer severe injuries

It is important to note that the risk of seatback collapses is rare. However, it is still something of which all drivers should be mindful. Especially since lawmakers are taking action in response to these findings. Recently, federal lawmakers introduced The Modernizing Seatback Safety Act to update seat safety standards and mitigate this risk. While it is unclear if the act will become law, this issue is receiving more attention.

What should drivers do?

Being aware of issues like this is often the first step to combat risks. That is one of the reasons why federal lawmakers are now taking action to increase safety standards.

However, North Carolina drivers might worry about what they can do in the meantime. It can help if drivers:

  • Get information about potential risks regarding the manufacturer of their vehicle, or the type of car they have
  • Check consumer reports and research safety issues if purchasing a new or used vehicle
  • Keep children in rear-facing car seats for as long as is safe

Drivers cannot control how other motorists act on the road. They can only control their own driving habits and behaviors. Therefore, it is always critical for drivers to stay focused and drive defensively, to reduce the risks they face on the road and in their own vehicle.