Study: most adults don't wear seat belt when they're in the back seat

(KFVS) - You've probably heard the saying, or said it to your kids: 'buckle up for safety!'

Well, it seems most adults don't heed that advice when they're riding in the back seat.

According to a recent survey by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, four out of five people surveyed said they don't bother to buckle up on short trips or when they're traveling by taxi or a ride-hailing service if they're riding in the back seat.

Many rear-seat passengers said they don't think the belts are necessary because they believed the back seat to be safer than the front.

"For most adults, it's still as safe to ride in the back seat as the front seat, but not if you aren't buckled up," says Jessica Jermakian, an IIHS senior research engineer and a co-author of the study. "That applies to riding in an Uber, Lyft or other hired vehicle, too."

Of the people surveyed between June and August 2016, 72 percent said they always use their seat belt in the back seat while 91 percent said they always use their seat belt when riding in the front.

So who's least likely to buckle up? Adults between the ages of 35 to 54, according to the survey. Women are reportedly more likely than men to use a seat belt when riding in the back.

The IIHS reported that nearly 40 percent of those surveyed said they don't always buckle up in the back seat because there's no law requiring it. If a law existed, 60 percent of those that responded said they would use seat belts when riding in the back seat.

Missouri state law requires that everyone in the front seat has to wear a seat belt. Passengers under 16 have to wear a seat belt, regardless of where they're seated.

In Illinois and Kentucky, everyone in the vehicle is required to buckle up, no matter where they are in the vehicle. Kentucky law is written so that drivers can be pulled over if an officer notices that someone in the vehicle is not wearing a seat belt.

Tennessee law states that all drivers and front seat passengers must wear a seat belt.

If you aren't sure of the benefits of seat belts, the IIHS offered this information:

Safety belts saved 13,941 lives during 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates. If everyone buckled up, an additional 2,800 deaths could have been prevented. For drivers and front passengers, using a lap and shoulder belt reduces the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent in a pickup, SUV or van and by 45 percent in a car.

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