The Back Seat Missile

Posted in: Using Taxis

Why EVERYONE Needs to Buckle Up… Especially Adults in Back

Studies (see below) show that when someone rides in back withOUT their seat belt, the other people in the car who ARE wearing their seat belt are up to 3 times more likely to die in that same crash, because the unbelted person becomes a human missile… and due to the G-forces they weigh several thousand pounds, not their usual several hundred pounds.

Moral of the story:

Everyone, everywhere – including in back – wears their seat belt on every trip! 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s video below shows what it looks like in a 35mph crash when an adult in back is riding without a seat belt. This 170 pound crash test dummy weighs about 4,000 pounds (170lbs x 25G’s)… and makes a pancake of the driver.

Many adults mistakenly think it's safe to ride unbelted in the back seat. Read the results of our rear seat belt use survey here:

Posted by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on Thursday, August 3, 2017

Studies published in peer reviewed journals on the topic:

Mayrose J, et al. The effect of unrestrained rear-seat passengers on driver mortality. J Trauma. 2006 Nov;61(5):1249-54.

Mayrose J, et al. Influence of the unbelted rear-seat passenger on driver mortality: “the backseat bullet”.  Acad Emerg Med. 2005 Feb;12(2):130-4.

Broughton J. The actual threat posed by unrestrained rear seat car passengers. Accid Anal Prev. 2004 Jul;36(4):627-9.

Shimamura M, et al. Method to evaluate the effect of safety belt use by rear seat passengers on the injury severity of front seat occupants.  Accid Anal Prev. 2005 Jan;37(1):5-17.

Cummings P, Rivara FP.  Car occupant death according to the restraint use of other occupants: a matched cohort study. JAMA. 2004 Jan 21;291(3):343-9.

Ichikawa M, Nakahara S, Wakai S. Mortality of front-seat occupants attributable to unbelted rear-seat passengers in car crashes. Lancet. 2002;359:43-44.

3 Responses to “The Back Seat Missile”

  1. Abby says:

    >I remember that ad!! I was living in England when it was first being shown. I kept thinking, holy cow, this would NEVER make it on American broadcast TV…

  2. […] she at significantly increased risk of injury, but so too is everyone else in the car – as studies show that if one person in the back seat doesn’t wear their seat belt, the other people in the car who are buckled (like the baby, the driver, etc) are up to 3 times […]

  3. […] Studies show that if one person in the car rides without their seat belt, the other people in the car who have buckled up – this may be a mom in back or a child in the IMMI Go, for example – are up to 3 times more likely to die in that same crash as you will become a human missile and can fly around and land on top of other people. Due to the G-forces in a crash, you will weigh several thousand pounds, not your usual several hundred pounds. […]

Leave a Reply