Do you know where the most dangerous location is to put your child in a car? Most people answer the passenger side front seat. While auto manufacturers have done a decent job of informing parents about the dangers of children in the front seat due to the airbag, they have never informed parents or the public in general that the most dangerous location for your child is in the second row directly behind the driver. Sadly, this is the location that many parents put the car seat due to the convenience and easy access of putting their child in and out of the car seat.
Why is this location the most dangerous? The federal standards for seatbacks are nothing more than a joke. For example, a cheap flimsy aluminum framed beach chair will pass the standard. The majority of auto manufacturers (including all the domestic manufacturers) in order to save money, put no effort or engineering into making safe seatbacks. The result of these money saving efforts is the needless loss of life of the smallest and most vulnerable among us, children.
What exactly happens? In a rear end collision, the driver is forced back into the seatback. The seatback inevitably fails which allows the seatback to move down horizontally and act as a ramp whereby the driver slides up the seatback most often resulting in their head striking the child seated behind (who is moving forward) in the face or head. The consequences of this action on the child are most often devastating. For a couple dollars, the auto manufacturers could make the seatbacks safe by preventing this from happening. However, they do not do so; instead they argue, against all evidence to the contrary, that the seatbacks as they currently are designed, are perfectly safe.
Another major cause of severe injuries and deaths is the design and construction of the rear seats themselves. The majority of rear seat bottoms are the equivalent of a piece of cardboard with a small cushion on top. Given the lack of engineering that goes into the design of the rear seat bottoms, a phenomenon called “submarining” often takes place.
When a vehicle is in a front-end impact, the rear occupants continue to move forward as the car stops. The seat belt will act as a restraint. However, the flimsy rear seat cushions and structure often allow the occupant to load into the seat bottom and slide underneath and out the lap belt portion of the seat belt.
The consequences of this “submarining” are often deadly. Occupants frequently eviscerate their bowels which can lead to death or severe injury with life long repercussions. Again, the auto manufacturers find it easier to deny that this injury mechanism even exists instead of spending a few dollars more to properly design and build safer rear seats.
WOLFF ARDIS, P.C.
Because children are the most frequent occupants of the rear seat, rear seat disasters happen to them more. The auto manufacturers know this statistic. Despite possessing this knowledge, auto manufacturers still put profit over the safety of the occupants of its vehicles, even when it is known that the occupants will overwhelmingly be children. Wolff Ardis, P.C. has handled actions involving both type of scenarios with great success. Wolff Ardis, P.C. is intimately familiar with these claims and has conducted testing and research that bolsters its ability in obtaining a successful resolution regarding these claims.