You may have heard that the back seat is safer than the front seat when it comes to protecting children in a crash. While this is true, there are a number of exceptions—as well as extra precautions you can take to give your child the best chance of walking away from an accident.
Why the Back Middle Seat Can Protect a Children From Brain Injuries
Many child safety advocates agree that children should sit in the back seat of the car until they are at least 13-years-old. Crash data backs this up, 86 percent fewer fatalities occurred when kids were placed in the back seat—a number that goes down even further if the child sits in the middle. But it turns out that the safest place to put children in a car depends on a lot more than just his seat location. For instance, consider how your children may be affected by the:
- Air bags. Kids are in danger of being injured by airbags in the front passenger seat, but may also suffer the impact of side curtain airbags in the back seat.
- Crumple zones. Children may fight over who gets the window seat, but the truth is that kids on the two side seats are less protected in a side-impact collision than the child “stuck” in the middle.
- Car seats. If your child is young enough to need a car seat, the rear middle seat is also the safest place to install it, with the added bonus that the driver has full view of the child in the rearview mirror.
- Seat belts. It may not matter which seat your child occupies in a crash if he or she is not wearing a safety belt. Make sure your kids understand the importance of wearing a seat belt for every trip—and that they keep both the lap and shoulder belts in place at all times.
Please feel free to share this information with your fellow parents on Facebook or email—especially those who drive your children and their friends. A little information can go a long way to preventing a tragedy!