With several US states enacting laws requiring rear-seat passengers to wear seatbelts, LeaseTrader.com’s customer advisor specialists wanted to discover how effective these laws were considering all the attention given to people in the front seat of a vehicle.
The company polled more than 1000 men and 1000 women throughout the country, including states with and without rear-seat restraint laws. Adult participants in the poll said they rode in the back seat of a vehicle at least 25 times throughout 2010.
In the states that have a rear-seat restraint law (TX, WA, MN, CA), men said they wore a seat belt just 14.3% of the time, while women said they wore one 18.4% of the time.
Among states that do not have a law in place (IL, AZ, TN, NE, PA), the percentage dropped to 9.6% for men and 16.3% for women. Conversely, the same people polled said they wear a seatbelt while in the front seat 75.2% of the time.
As for reasons why men and women opted against using a rear-seat restraint belt, forgetting to use the seat belt was the answer most often used (63.2% of all responses). Other reasons were cited, such as ‘felt it wasn’t necessary’ (13.4%), ‘didn’t think it was the law’ (9.8%) and ‘felt plenty safe without it’ (8.6%).
Does the driver have a responsibility to make sure all passengers are buckled up, including those in the rear seats? According to the poll, the driver did not remind back seat passengers to buckle up roughly 75% of the time.