Uber and Lyft Rides Show Need for Backseat Seatbelt Laws
ATLANTA, GA- More than three billion rides took place in Uber and Lyft vehicles last year, giving researchers a better understanding of the behavior of backseat passengers in vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) writes that many adults riding in vehicles are failing to buckle up, especially in the backseat of cars.*
One Uber driver stated that she noticed many of her passengers were not buckling up when they got into her vehicle. The driver even made a sign reminding her passengers to use their seatbelts, but still noticed that many of them were not doing so. The experience of the driver is not unique, and in fact, the study indicated that fewer than half of all people riding in Ubers or other rideshare vehicles were using seatbelts.
The risk of severe injuries to people riding in the backseat of a car is about eight times higher for those who fail to use a seatbelt. While many riders say they only do not use a seatbelt on short rides, there were examples reported showing riders in the car for more than an hour without ever buckling themselves up.
Manufacturers can improve seatbelt safety by including backseat seatbelt warning alerts similar to those used for people riding in the front of a vehicle. These alerts are already mandatory in Europe, but not in the United States.
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