Being Stuck in the Middle May be the Safest Place


January 14, 2016

We have all likely competed to sit in the front passenger seat. So called "riding shotgun" is the coveted, cool position in the car, stemming an array of games designed to determine who gets this favorite spot. However, despite being the most desired seat by many, the front seat is not the safest. In fact, according to researchers at the University of Buffalo, the most uncomfortable and least "cool" spot in the car, the middle seat, is the safest.

The Backseat Keeps Passengers Safest

Researchers with the University of Buffalo set out to determine which seat in the car is the safest for passengers. The researchers examined all auto crashes involving a fatality between the years 2000 and 2003 when someone occupied the rear middle seat. They found that overall occupants in any position in the back seat are some 59 to 86 percent safer than passengers in the front seat. Further, the middle seat passenger is an additional 25 percent safer than the other back seat passengers, according to the study.

When researchers altered the study to control for factors such as vehicle type, restraint use, vehicle weight, age of occupant, weather, air bags, light, drug test results and fatalities per crash, the middle seat still emerged as 16 percent safer than any other seat.

The Middle Provides the Greatest Protection from the Impact

The key to the middle seat's safety is its location away from the outside impact. All cars are designed to allow for crumple zones. Cars have certain places in the frame that will crumple in order to absorb the impact of a crash. The middle seat is away from crucial crumple zones and exterior forces. It acts as almost a safety bubble, as opposed to the side seats by the windows which might receive some force from the crash. The middle seat was even found to be the safest seat in the event of a rollover. With this seat being closest to the center of the car, the rotational force experienced was less when compared to sitting in seats toward the edges of the vehicle.

Buckle Up No Matter Where You Sit

Regardless of where you sit in the car, wearing a seatbelt is crucial to your safety in the event of an accident. University of Buffalo researchers found that seatbelt use was the largest contributing factor to survival of a car accident, not seat position. By sitting in the rear of the vehicle and wearing your seatbelt, you can significantly protect yourself in the unfortunate event of an accident. Be sure your children and other car occupants do the same and always buckle up.

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The Georgia Car Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, assist injured car accident victims across Georgia and in the Southeast. Our firm has over 30 years of experience and strives to provide you with legal services of unmatched excellence. The sooner you act after your accident, the greater your chances of obtaining a full recovery. As such, it is important that you seek the assistance of a licensed lawyer as soon as possible. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Source:
http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2006/06/8026.html

 

Category: Auto Accidents

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