It's Legal to Go Without a Seatbelt in the Back Seat in Cleveland... But Should You?

Most of us always clip our seatbelts when we drive, or when we ride shotgun. It's much safer that way, and we all understand the danger of being ejected through the windshield in a crash. But according to a new IIHS survey of 1,172 Americans, many of us don't think it's necessary to buckle up in the back seat.

Why do rear passengers choose not to wear seatbelts?

Forty percent of survey respondents say it's because the practice is not required by law in many states. In Ohio, backseat occupants are exempt from wearing seatbelts. A quarter of respondents say that backseats are safe enough without a belt.

Crash tests and real-world accidents show, however, that just because it's legal to eschew a seatbelt doesn't mean it's safe.

In traffic collisions where the rear-seat passengers are not wearing a belt, those occupants are eight times more likely to be severely injured, and if they were sitting behind the driver, the driver is twice as likely to be killed.

In an upload to their YouTube channel, the IIHS demonstrates exactly why unbuckled passengers are a risk to the driver. In a sled test, the crash dummy in the back seat shoots forward when the vehicle abruptly stops, simulating an accident. All of its weight is thrown into the driver's seat, which crumples forward, slamming the dummy in the driver's seat into the steering wheel.

Remember, just because you won't be ticketed doesn't mean you shouldn't buckle up. You could save lives.

Tags: safety

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