Everyone has their preferred seat in the car. It’s the spot that we feel the most comfortable in, or where we can get the most leg room on a long drive. Despite having specific preferences for car seating, many people are unaware that there are scientific reasons why one seat is much safer than the rest. Every car has “safe haven” seats to ensure the safety of passengers to minimize the risk of injury in the event of a car accident. According to an important safety study for passengers, researchers have discovered that using this seat increases a passenger’s safety by 59-86%. 

car vehicle driving

Which Spot in the Car is the Safest?

Researchers from the University of Buffalo recently learned that certain car seats are notably safer than others. By sitting in a specific spot in the car, you can reduce your chances of being hurt or killed in an auto collision. Studies showed that the safest location, by far, was the back row, having improved passengers’ safety by 59-86% relative to those in the front row. However, even when sitting in the back, passengers still had a choice of which seat would better protect their safety over others.

Out of the three options passengers have to choose from when sitting in the back row of the car, the middle seat was determined to be the safest of all. Researchers found that those sitting in this spot were about 25% safer than the passengers on either side, although the exact percentage differed by the individual’s age. For example, a pediatric study showed that babies up to three years old reap more benefits from sitting in the middle than adults, as their safety increased by 43%. 

This increased safety is primarily due to the following reasons:

  • Passengers in the middle of the back row are perfectly distanced from key impact points in the vehicle’s cabin.
  • The middle backseat endures the least rotational force during a car crash. (This makes it especially safe in the event of a rollover collision.)

While it is wise to position the most vulnerable passenger in the vehicle in the middle backseat, there are more precautions you should take to maintain everyone’s safety on the road. 

Additional Safety Precautions for Car Passengers

If you and your passengers find yourself in an accident, keep the following tips in mind to reduce your chances of injury or death:

    • Relax your body as much as possible. If you allow your muscles to tense up too much, you increase your risk of severe injury.
  • Reduce the number of loose items in the car. You’ll need to minimize the number of things in the car that could potentially hurt you in the event of a crash. Store loose items in the trunk or under a seat, if possible.
  • If you are struck by a reckless driver, pull over and get to a safe location to resolve the issue. You don’t want to remain in the same location and risk being hit by onlookers or other negligent drivers.

By following these tips and positioning the most vulnerable passenger in your vehicle in the middle backseat, you can protect yourself and your loved ones on the road and ensure safe travels for everyone.