Adults sit in the front of the car and kids in the back. That was how it was when you grew up. Every time you got in a car as a child, you sat behind. Even when your dad was the only adult in the car, you still got the back seat. The front was considered too dangerous for someone your age.

A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) discovered you are better off in the front of a car than the back. It found head and chest injuries were the two most common causes of death amongst those wearing seat belts. The reason the front was safer is due to two pieces of technology:

  • Airbags: While some cars have airbags that protect rear travelers from side-impact, they do not have ones to stop their head hitting the back of the driver or passenger seat. If you sit in front, you probably will have a frontal airbag and perhaps a side one.
  • Seat belts: Front seat belts are better designed than rear ones. They have crash tensioners, which hold you in place; if you have ever tried to lean forward and felt the belt jam momentarily, that is because of the tensioner. They also have force limiters which release a small amount of belt when suddenly loaded to reduce the risk of chest injuries. Rear belts often do not have either of these devices.

Of course, any seat belt only works if you wear it. Ensure everyone in your car buckles up. It could reduce the severity of personal injuries if another less careful driver crashes into you.