Buckle Up in the Back Seat, Study Says

November 17, 2010

Wearing your seat belt may not help you find lower auto insurance rates, but it could keep you alive – even if you’re riding in the back seat. Rear seat passengers who die in automobile accidents are twice as likely as front seat passengers to be riding without their safety belts on, an Illinois study says.

The Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Division of Traffic Safety recently released the information from a six-year study which took place from 2003 to 2009. Among their findings included the fact that, in 2009, 74 back seat passengers died in car crashes in their state, but only twelve percent of those were wearing seat belts.

Under Illinois state law, safety belts are not required when you ride in the back seat of a car.

As a result of these findings, the Illinois State Police and IDOT are planning to operate about 900 seat belt enforcement zones with the cooperation of more than 150 local law enforcement over the next few weeks. Local police departments will also conduct roadside safety tests an increase the number of patrols for impaired drivers.