U.S. Markets closed

Planning a holiday road trip? Here's why you should buckle up in the back seat

Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY

With holiday road trip season fast approaching, the Governors Highway Safety Association is reminding back-seat passengers about the dangers associated with not wearing a seat belt. 

On Monday, the driver safety organization published a study suggesting that 25% of adults don't buckle up when they ride in the rear seat. At least 803 unrestrained rear-seat passengers were killed in traffic accidents in 2018, the nonprofit said, and about half of them would have survived had they buckled up.

People who often use ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft report wearing seat belts less often than those who ride in private cars, the report said. 

“As millions take to the road this holiday season on family car trips, and as use of ride-hailing services continues to surge, more people find themselves in the back seat of passenger vehicles," said Jonathan Adkins, executive director at GHSA. "That means it’s even more imperative that we work together to encourage all motor vehicle passengers to take their safety seriously, no matter the seating position."

'Ford v. Ferrari:' The American car company takes a trip down memory lane

How often should I start my car and let it idle in cold weather?  Answer: Don't.

Rear seat belt use nationwide lags behind front seat belt use. Adults use rear seat belts 76% of the time during car rides, the study found. When riding in the front seat, adults wear seat belts 90% of the time.

The reminder to wear seat belts comes on the heels of a 2019 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study, which found that rear passengers lack efficient protection from crashes even when they're strapped in. 

IIHS found that rear seat belts are often poorly engineered, causing back injury and killing passengers while those in the front survive and avoid deadly injuries. 

Most states don't have laws surrounding rear seat belts for adult passengers, though rear belt use is higher in states that require it, GHSA said. 

Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Seat belt report: Buckle up, even when riding in the backseat