New mothers are always told that the back seat of the car is the safest place for their children as they grow from newborns to toddlers and into adulthood, but some mothers are learning that the piece of advice may not always be true. Children and other passengers riding in the back seats of vehicles are being seriously injured in even minor car accidents when the people sitting in the front seat are propelled into the back. What is causing them to shoot into the back of the car with enough force to cause life-threatening injuries or even death?
Front seats are collapsing as a result of force applied to the vehicle upon impact with another vehicle in a car accident. Some blame the federal government for having low seat back strength requirements and argue that many of the manufactured seating systems are defective and unreasonably dangerous as a result. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 207, that sets the standard strength requirements for seat backs, was enacted in 1968 and has not been updated since.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that they are “considering” an update but have not yet done so. A number of lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers for allegedly defectively designed seating systems. In one complaint, it was alleged that a lawn chair and a cardboard box would have passed the strength requirements. The lawsuit was filed after a young girl suffered a traumatic brain injury after the Plymouth Neon she was riding in was rear-ended by another vehicle traveling at the posted 30 miles per hour speed limit. Although the crash caused very little damage to either vehicle, the young girl’s life was forever changed when the front seat collapsed. Contact Louisiana Car Wreck to learn more about these cases.