Seating position and the risk of passenger death in traffic crashes

Seating position and the risk of passenger death in traffic crashes

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 1.25 million people are dying each year in car accidents. It is the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 29, as well as the ones of children’s. When studying crashes, most tend to remain in the case of the drivers and forget about the other occupants, who are the most vulnerable in these cases. But a study was done focusing instead on the effects these kinds of car crashes have on the riders and passengers, especially how much of a risk they are in concerning their position in their drive.

Back vs. Front

Studies have shown an estimation in which sitting in the back is much safer than sitting in the front, which in turn has been estimated to be at a higher risk in a crash. These very studies have not examined the ages or groups these people belong to so they can’t assure to which kind of people it happens the most to. They as well do not mention what kind of safety procedures should have been taken or which of these procedures did work and was not successful.


This estimation is done by analyzing the crashes that had happened in the same kind of vehicle, as well as later categorized by searching for crashes under the same model, speed and even measurements. They then analyze the individuals by age, gender, the use of seat belt, the presence of an air bag and seat position. The purpose of this study was to witness if seating position had anything to do in traffic accidents. They as well wanted to group it by age, the use of seat belt and air bag presence for the front seat. Other studies have dedicated to rear seats. The FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System) archives all information concerning crash accidents in the U.S. and makes it publicly available thirty days after the incident. Yet, if all in the incident survived, then most likely it will not appear easily. The study focused between the years 1999 and 2001, in passenger cars, minivans, large vans, trucks and sport utilities. Drivers were not included in the study. They as well categorized what kind of belt they were using, if it was over their chest, on their waist or a child safety chair.


The results showed a vast amount of death. It clears that sitting in the front is more a risk. It proves that sitting a child in the back is much safer and better for their wellbeing in the case of a fatality. Yet the older you get, the more at risk you are even in the back seat. Restraints like seat belts offered the same amount of protection no matter the position you take in your sitting, although they did play better safety in the front seat. The study proved that by sitting in the back you have a 20% risk of dying in a car crash. By getting this information we predict and prevent and try to make our roads safer for future drivers and passengers.

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